I worked for a few hours on my ESL class. It's a scary project, learning something entirely new. Each assignment, I read with unease and mild panic. I procrastinate for a few days, then give the assignment my best shot.
I realized in this slow Alaska time that my expectations for myself are way too high. I see myself thrown into a full ESL class, with all levels of students, having no idea what I'm doing. I had a similar experience 35 years ago. My first husband and I had moved to Columbus, Georgia, where he was going to the Army Officer Candidate school. I'd done some substitute teaching the prior year at the elementary school level. Each time, the teacher had left a lesson plan. Even so, I had taken no education classes and had no classroom experience. I met with some success, but I was never comfortable when the principal called, early in the morning, asking me whether I could come in and "help us out".
In Georgia, I went to the school district office to see if I could get on the sub list. They asked me if I had a degree and, when I said yes, they offered me a job teaching high school! We needed the money, so I said yes.
The district had just integrated its schools the prior year. I was assigned to a formerly all-black high school. All the athletes attending that school had been bussed to the formerly all white schools. So my school was left with little to be proud of. When I met with the principal, he said, "I don't care what you teach them. Just keep them out of the halls."
I braved the situation for six weeks and then quit. I was simply unprepared for the job. And that was the last teaching I did. 1972 is a long time ago.
Now I'm willing to learn how to teach ESL, but I realize some of that old fear was coming up. So then I looked up volunteer opportunities to work with ESL and I found several for classroom aide. Perfect! I don't have to start out knowing how to do it all! I get to learn and practice first.
I feel much better now. I can take it slow. I'm retired, after all. Jeez.