As a new teacher, I feel a strange amount of pride every time I accomplish the most mundane tasks at school. Having a key and closing up the classroom makes me feel so mature. I get a rush of "Look at me! I have a job! I can lock doors LIKE A BOSS" as I test the knob and walk away. "Classroom secure," I imagine reporting to my imaginary walkie talkie. Every time I make copies of a lesson plan, I celebrate my own smugness: "I know that A4 means single sheets of paper, and I'm going to select it and I want 35 copies, baby. Centered and single-sided. Watch me go!" Getting coffee from the special coffee vending machine is of course the best experience for feeling superior. Sipping my espresso casually in the teacher's lounge, stirring the sugar cube into it with the disposable plastic stick, my smugness exudes "I'm an adult, doing grown up things. I AM DRINKING GROWN UP EXPRESSO." I'm so drunk on the power of my maturity that I nearly burst.
All of these superfluous perks, however, vanish in the classroom, while I do my actual work. I fumble with my work sheets, struggle to make the students understand, to make them speak up, to quiet down, to speak up, and to quiet down again. I constantly try to act like I know what I'm doing and display confidence, but I'm really just flying by the seat of my pants. My opinion of my job really depends on how receptive the class is, and how much they seem intellectually stimulated by the lesson. If they are intrigued, then I have the best job ever that I want to do for the rest of my life, and I can't wait to guide them through the lesson like a motherfucking Beacon of Knowledge:
If they're apathetic and bored and they think the lesson is dumb, I hate teaching and I never want to do it again and I want to crawl into my corner of shame for ever naively thinking that "Supersize Me" was promising fodder for discussion.
Man, these stiletto-clad, fashionista French high school girls can cast you such a withering glance, which amazes me with all the ways it can make you shrivel at once. With only the eyes, they manage to effectively communicate: "Not only are you beneath my notice, you unfabulous thing with your untailored jeans, but you presume to make me care about your words, and you will be sorely disappointed because I do not give a shit, and you can't make me." (Ok, the untailored jeans part might be me projecting, but I promise the rest is all there.) When this glare occurs, on the outside, I continue my lesson as competently as ever. On the inside I go "I know! I know! Who cares about fast food social experiments?! I'm sorry that I'm not as effortlessly trendy as you--I'm sorry! I'll wear heels tomorrow!"
If only secret, internal, fashion-insecure me could meet and take notes from I'm-the-king-of-the-world, watch-me-drink-this-espresso-cause-I'm-an-adult-with-a-job me.