Multiple Identities or Split Personality?

Well, the fall semester started and I started teaching again.  (I am teaching a class! she said with an enormous grin on her face.)  It’s a new class to me, a new prep, and there will be a lot of work and time that goes into this, but, honesty, I do not care.  (At the moment.  I reserve the right to complain later.)  I am enjoying every minute of it.  Even when they look like they are bored senseless.  Or confused.  Yes, I get a lot of bored and confused looks.

I am teaching A class and the rest of my time is devoted to my day job as an assistant director of this program. And then there are the revisions of my manuscript due to the publisher a lot sooner than I would think.  Consequently I am wearing many hats.  The funny thing is that, while I am teaching just the one class, it has risen in importance in my mind.  It is what I think about most of the time (even when I am thinking about my day job, or the revisions) and I have given it a place of importance in what I do.

The fun part of it all is that while I am concerned about doing the best job I can in this class, it isn’t freaking me out.  I was concerned that I would forget how to teach after my two-year hiatus.  Or that teaching methods would so radically change that I would be behind the curve.  The challenging thing about this experience is figuring out the culture of teaching at this institution.  What are the expectations of the students; how high (or low) are the standards?  How can I work well with my fellow teachers?  How can I be of help to others; or better how can I accept help when I need it?

And, meanwhile, I still have to effectively do my day job.  And my history job.   The tricky thing is when I have to shift gears from the classroom to my office.  I need to put away my concerns for class prep (temporarily) and students and take out the list of tasks that I need to do that are equally important, albeit different.  At the moment, my biggest concern is getting my job done.  What has been remarkable is that how the teaching is seeping into my day job and helping me think about that work in a better way.  I did not expect that.  Teaching involves effectively communicating with students, considering how and when one presents information, and gauging the reaction and understanding of those individuals.   Effective listening skills apply here, but they also apply in my daily work in administration.  I knew those there parallels existed, but I think I needed reminding.  Apparently I was wrong.

All this to say that I am currently operating with many identities.  I am hardly alone in that, but what I intended to with this multiple identities should be interesting.