Not my fave thing, but I did some heavy-duty sciences in high school and dissected enough creatures to do me for a lifetime. IMHO, computer sims of dissections have comparable value--there are some awesome websites out there--good to use as an adjunct to what you do in lab. My personal favorite is the virtual pig dissection: http://www.whitman.edu/biology/vpd/main.html
My HS daughter is into big-time science classes--over the last several weeks (school ended for her yesterday) we've had a rat in residence on the dining room table in various states of evisceration--now his bones are mounted, though she set the bones out on the front porch to dry and a chipmunk stole the mandible--have no idea what he plans to do with it :chuckle
My program had us work in pairs or triples--did the fetal pig thing and sheep eyes, somebody's brain, and I forget what else. I mostly observed, which was fine with the teacher who had a "do what you're comfortable with" kind of attitude--we still had to know and understand everything, but hands-on was optional.
My main gripe with dissection is that preserved organs in God's little furry creatures aren't really the same as what you're going to see oxygenated, throbbing, and bleeding in a human in the ED or OR or when dressing an eviscerated wound--so I've never felt it was a truly useful exercise. Other folks feel differently.
Good luck in the class! You do get used to it.