Starting to learn anything is quite scary. We feel worried about how difficult it might be, we become embarrassed by the mistakes we make, and we feel insecure about whether we are able to achieve our goals.
Today I would like to offer the teacher's perspective, so that you can see how different it feels to be on the other side. This is, of course, a very personal experience and other teachers might see it differently.
The first class is nerve-wracking for everybody. As the students come in, nobody knows how it will go. Although everything is prepared for the students to have an easier lesson, there are many questions that come to mind. Will the students get along? Will my classes meet their expectations? Will they enjoy the material I have prepared?
Meeting new people can be uncomfortable. We all introduce ourselves, and we give each other a brief description of who we are. As a teacher, my intention is to give the students funny or interesting information about myself so they feel more comfortable and less nervous. The moment we are all laughing together, we can start working as a group, and everybody tends to relax.
We continue by introducing material to the students and getting them to understand what we intend to do over the next few months. Each group works in a completely different way, but what is almost always true is that after the first 90 minutes in English, most people are very tired. Forcing your brain to work in a different language when you are not used to it is very similar to going to the gym when you're not accustomed.
The next few lessons are still tiring and sometimes a little frustrating for the students, although I always adapt the rhythm those few lessons so that nobody suffers too much. However, within the first few weeks, almost everybody feels happy and enjoys themselves in every lesson - the magic here lies in being a little patient and persevering.
Although I am aware that this process is more difficult for the students, they need to remember that everybody is in the same position, and that if they invest a little patience, the rewards will definitely be worth it!