FREAKING OUT while teaching

Have you every had that split second of panic? Have you ever freaked out while teaching?

I have. Today was that day. On this rare occasion, I panicked. I use to get nervous when I first started my training as a teacher; standing in front of the class while being observed. Even after a couple of years of teaching, I generally don’t get worried about observations ( probably because I know lots of people are prayer for me) and extremely rarely do I get panicky about standing in front of a class of primary school kids; I do this all day, every day.

But today while in the middle of teaching maths, I was suddenly away of the fact that I was standing in front of a class with 32 heads looking my way; 64 eyes staring at me. My whole body felt limp and faint. It felt like time had slowed down; that I could feel my heart beating; my Lungs breathing in air: starting slow and rapidly quickening. My mind was screaming at me; ‘Everyone is looking at you! If you make a mistake, they will know.’ Luckily it was for a split moment, then I shook it off and carried on.

I have to say that I absolutely hate speaking in front of a crowd of people; sometime even have a slight panic attack at the thought of it. I know this is ironic as for a living, I am constantly standing in front of a group of kids. But that is the difference; it’s children. They have no expectation; they don’t judge you or criticise your teaching; they don’t compare you to someone else. I use to get sweaty palm and a stutter when speaking in a small group of people my age (I have slowly managed to get over this fear).

It is one thing I would love to be confident in: speaking in public. I have and will continue to challenge myself to do this.

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Overcoming fear – Playzone

Even though being a teacher you should be professional, it is good to let your hair down and act like a big kid (it’s best to do this where you won’t bump into any parents). This is what I did.

Not that far from me, there is a soft play area for adults. A group of us travelled by car but when we arrived, I observed many youngsters entering and felt slightly old. As we emerged in to the playzone, I thought how we were going to occupy ourselves for three hours. However, this was not a problem: we played tag, cooled ourselves down and enjoyed the slides.

The slides were immense: there was a small tunnel slide; a blue bumpy slide that entered into a ball pit; four narrow bumpy slides and a vertical drop slide from an enormous height. When I saw the final slide, I was shaking with fear but determined that by the end of the night, I would master the challenged. Some of my friends had conquered it: soon it was my turn. I climbed up the wooden steps; dragged my legs over the edge to push myself off; I looked down regretting this decision. With my heart banging out of my body and nothing to lose, I slipped off the edge; down the vertical slide, keeping my back as close to the slide causing a friction. After the initial fear, the rest was a pleasure, fun and exhilarating. I had done it: the vertical slide. Even after that first time, my heart pumped rapidly every time it went on it.

Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and over come that fear niggling inside you as well as having fun as an adult, not thinking about the responsibility of a class.

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