{YML Voices} From Grad Student To Instructor


by Carla Buckner

Wednesday was my first day as the new instructor at my university. The night before, I had prepared myself for my first day and organized everything so the grad student-to-instructor transition would go smoothly. By day, I was the typical graduate student: I attended my classes, took notes, and glanced at my social networks in between. However, when 5:00 PM hit, I became an instructor–the new instructor for Computer Literacy for undergraduate students.

transition went so smoothly that I forgot I was even enrolled as a graduate student. I created a sign in sheet and watched as it floated around the room from student to student. Then the last student signed. She put her pen down, walked up to my podium and handed it to me. I glanced at it for a moment once it arrived back to me, and then I took a deep breath, and I taught.

I lectured. I lectured on how important this course would be to every recent college graduate entering and coexisting with the professionally employed. I lectured on how since this course was a required course to graduate, that it was vital that they attend class regularly, turn in assignments promptly, and notify me if there was anything needed so that I could render as much assistance as I could.

I laughed. I joked. I smiled. I had fun.

I dismissed the class early because the actual instruction begins next week. But to my surprise, majority of them remained. They wanted to hear about the life I lived as an undergraduate, not even a year ago, and my life now as a graduate student. How do/did you balance it all? How do/did manage to keep from going insane? Just how do you do it?

I leaned against the desk, sort of like your elementary teacher did, and I smiled and responded,


Carla is resides in Louisiana with two little people who call her Mom. Her blog, Est1987, chronicles her life as a full time worker, a Graduate student, but most importantly, a mother.


  1. woohooo Carla! You’re awesome!

  2. Good Story!!!! Go Carla!!!

  3. AMEN!!! Carla, I’m so proud of you. Keep bringing the awesome, girl! I’m taking it all in and praising right along with you!

  4. Love it! You’re definitely an inspiration Carla, go girl! ♥ xoxo