I can't begin to emphasize the difference between my first Monday class and my first Wednesday class. There were the obvious perceptible differences - class size (12 on Wednesday as compared to 25 on Monday), room setup (Wednesday was more conducive to interaction), noise level (Wednesday's class was much quieter and more attentive)... But it went beyond that.
On Monday, I felt compelled to announce to the class that I had never taught before. On Wednesday, that felt completely unnecessary. On Monday, I was swallowing ginger pills and other antacids all day long in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to quiet my nerves. On Wednesday, I spent the day occupied with work and nearly forgot I was teaching that night.
Was Wednesday a perfect class? Not by a long shot - they were almost too attentive, so we breezed through everything I had for them with about twenty minutes to spare and I had to make up a last-minute activity. But I felt so much better on Wednesday than I had on Monday that I really felt like I might have found my new favorite hobby - teaching.
I'm not so deluded to think that I'm going to walk out of every class feeling like that, but I sort of feel like if I can infect the students with my love of the Italian language, country, culture and people that I've been successful.
The best news of all is that I don't have anything to do tonight - nowhere to be after work. You can't imagine how much I'm looking forward to a night in my sweats with my cats crawling all over me... It's the little things, y'know.