Every teacher needs to take a course every now and then. It’s a humbling experience. Plus, sitting on the other side of the lectern gives a person a renewed perspective of how it feels to be a student.

I’m taking CPT 101 this semester, and I’m sure the instructor is even now trying to think of how to diplomatically let me know that it’s not too late to withdraw from the course without penalty. We had our second test this morning, and although I studied, it was too late and too little. I waited until the last moment, something that I’m always reminding my students NOT TO DO. It’s simply not possible to cram in everything that’s been covered in three weeks of class in three hours the night before an exam. Creating hanging indents, sorting paragraphs, and creating custom tab stops is pretty challenging (for me), and when you add all of the shortcut options, well, you get the picture. As I said earlier, too little and too late.

At the same time, this experience is teaching me to be a little more understanding of what students go through in their quest for an education. I rationalize and remind myself that after all, I’m a busy gal, and it’s difficult to get everything done. But guess what? So are my students. Many of the women in my classes have jobs AND families to raise. Some of them are even single mothers. A young man just left my office after asking me for an extension on a writing assignment because he’s right in the middle of two extremely time consuming jobs, and he needs the money to support his family.

Yep, it’s a humbling experience. If I don’t mention my test grade Wednesday, don’t ask.