A little less than a month from now, I will make my way to a classroom full of (mostly) first-year seminary students. I can imagine it already.
When I open the door, there will be the inevitable and slightly uncomfortable pause in the hubbub of pre-class conversation. It is the awkward moment every teacher experiences at the start of a new semester — when you enter a room full of unfamiliar faces and everyone stops talking to turn and watch you.
As a relatively new professor, I probably feel the awkwardness more acutely than my seasoned colleagues. But there is no turning back.
Under the watchful gaze of my students, with first impressions already forming, I will walk to the front of the room and set down my bag on the lecture table. Without looking up, I’ll get out my laptop, turn it on, and make sure it’s connected to the projector. Then I’ll arrange whatever books or notes I’ve brought with me.
Soon, everything will be ready to go. I’ll give a nonchalant glance to the clock on the back wall which will remind me that it’s time to start. Without further delay, I’ll take a deep breath, smile, and hear the following words come out of my mouth. Continue Reading…