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How Can I Be a Teacher When I Barely Know Where to Start Myself?

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

Casual Self-Doubt

I sometimes have a hard time believing that I will be a good teacher.

I have a lot of self-doubt a lot of the time. There was a time when I was not this way, though. But I can’t remember how I got there, and I’m not really sure I want to got back anyway.

So yeah. I was once a very confident, no-need-to-prepare kind of girl. Now I’m super nervous and anxious about going to my first class when, in reality, I definitely qualified to be a graduate student.

But, my brain cautions me, I qualified for work I did back in undergrad. And that was three years ago.

Surely I’ve gotten wiser since my undergrad years, right? I mean, I did do online grad school for a few months and maintained a high GPA.


My study habits were trash and I wrote all my papers the night they were due.

In my defense, I was not super invested in the classes and I lost my passion for the major shortly after I started it.

I am still worried it will happen again. Despite the fact that I love the subject area I’m going into,  and have for, like, seven years. Despite the fact that I am practicing every weekend with my Ukrainian teacher of Russian. Despite the fact that I am mentally preparing myself for a heavier workload.

I am still worried.

And then there’s my future to think about. I really, really want to teach people Russian. I want to explain to them the culture, the nuances of the language, the beauty of the grammar.

But how in the world am I going to do that when I barely know them myself?

I got into Russian because I read Anna Karenina. I have wanted to read the novel again, in Russian, but I am terrified of the task. Why? Because, despite being conversationally fluent, I am so scared of literature and the language used by Tolstoy. I mean, I struggled to read it in English. Given, I was reading it in high school, but my Russian language level is probably that of a high school student.

Scratch that.

It’s probably the level of a grade school student.

Yes, I am going to school to become more fluent and more confident in my abilities. But…

Can two years of study really make that much of a difference?

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