I hate the first day of school. All of the school-supply shopping, the outfit-choosing, the intricate arrangements to meet up with friends to discuss our lofty goals for the year? Hate it. Even as a professor.
Especially as a professor.
I prefer the groove of mid-term – the place where I’ve got a handle on my schedule, know what the typical demands will be and have adjusted my outlook to reflect my reality. It’s a lesson I’ve learned from 23 returns of the First Day of School, and the hundreds of days of hard work required in between.
In teaching undergrads, you quickly come to learn that there low – dare I say no — expectations for the first day. No one cares about your vision for the class, your attitude toward course readings, your passion for pedagogy or desire to lead the kind of class debates and discussions immortalized in movies from Stand and Deliver to Mona Lisa Smile. The only thing students want is to secure their seat, get a copy of the syllabus, and find out how to make an A.