My supervisor observed me teaching a lesson this week in my Kindergarten class. I was teaching the struggling readers group about the -en word family using a lesson plan created by the teacher I'm observing. We had fun and I scored well on the observation form. The one thing that both my supervisor and my observing teacher said was that I need more confidence in myself. They both had several wonderful things to say about my teaching, my positive relationship with the kids, and my enthusiasm for giving them quality instruction, but both of them said they could see how nervous I was.
This is pretty much what my supervisor said the last time he observed me in the classroom. As much as I would like to say it was a fluke, I am well aware that I am lacking confidence when it comes to being observed and graded on my teaching performance.
Most of you reading this are probably well aware, but I actually started out as an early childhood education major back in 2005 when this whole college thing started. I got amazing grades, exempted from several tests, and was actually slated to graduate a semester early due to my AP credits from high school. Then I went into the classroom to teach for the first time.
To make a very long story short, my 19 year-old self was terrified. All I could think about was how I was going to screw up these kids and their development. I was terrified that they would be bored out of their minds and never learn anything. I was so scared that I changed my major to anything I thought I might possibly enjoy that didn't involve teaching.
Now that I'm older, I realize that teaching is my passion. Being with kids and working with them so they can acheive a new level of understanding sounds like an amazing way to spend the rest of my life. Those fears are still lingering in the back of my mind though... coming out every now and then to make sure I don't get too excited about teaching or too confident in my progress toward my degree.
After receiving feedback from my teacher, my supervisor, friends in my cohort, and Steve all telling me I'm a great teacher but I need to start believing in myself, I've decided that it is time to get rid of these fears once and for all.
After all, my favorite quote from Thoreau says to go CONFIDENTLY in the direction of your dreams. Not go meekly and fearfully in the direction of your dreams. If I want to live the life I have always imagined for myself, then I need to dig deep, find my confidence, and stop holding onto these unfounded fears.
In case anyone was wondering.... I currently have an A in my geometry class. I haven't had that subject in 10 years and back then I barely passed with a D. Here's to chasing down your demons, whatever they may be.