The terror and the thrill of teaching from a blank slate

About three years ago, a wise colleague told me that it takes three years to become a teacher and five years to become a good one.

All the M.Ad.Ed. studying is paying off. I’m actually becoming a teacher!

At the time, I couldn’t see that happening to me. Then a college teacher for two years, I felt I still had a lot to learn before I could start giving students real value for their money.

Nonetheless, I held onto that colleague’s words like a lifeline.

It’s now Year 5 and I have to say that my colleague was right.

I still have lots to learn and I don’t feel like SuperTeacher yet. But I’m finding that I’m designing some innovative lessons and that my students are having fun while realizing they are learning useful employability skills.

So now I’m feeling that it’s time to bite off something big. And wouldn’t you know it: I’ve been asked to design a brand new second-year business communications course for the Marketing department within my college’s School of Business. Employers are telling us that our Marketing graduates need to improve their writing and document presentation skills, so we’re doing something about it.

I have so many exciting ideas that I feel like I’m going to explode.

I had my last preliminary planning meeting with the Marketing Program coordinator yesterday and now it’s time to put the wheels on the road to embark on this exciting new journey.

I know that I’m going to create something really special here from scratch. I’m also certain that what I’m about to design is needed in other business programs and that others will want it.

I’m hovering above the abyss and it’s a terrifyingly thrilling place to be.

I can hardly believe it. For the first time in my five years of teaching, I won’t be borrowing from my colleagues to create significant learning experiences. Indeed, I’ll be creating a full semester that’ll be 100 percent me.


I’m terrified. I’m thrilled. I can hardly wait to begin.


About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
This entry was posted in adult education, Course design, Reflective Practice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The terror and the thrill of teaching from a blank slate

  1. Very exciting Frank. There is such a stress on producing rich content for proposals, websites social media, blogs, etc. Marketers have to now think and write like journalists. Your future students are in good hands.

  2. Awww… Thanks, Matt. I guess you remember well my first year of teaching. You were one of the students who wasn’t too hard on this then very green instructor. I’m grateful for that. 🙂 I truly believe that becoming good at anything is 95% passion. The rest will follow as long as you pursue what you love with everything you’ve got—and as long as you don’t collapse from exhaustion first. 😉

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