Yesterday, November 4, kept my stomach in boy-scout-tight knots, the nervousness and excitement building up and finally exploding into a million bright-winged butterflies. Twice. :)
I shall explain.
Of course, the election has been on EVERYONE's mind; indeed, we could not escape the deadly grip of television ads, annoying phone calls, and negative commentary. So of course, the election issue was on my mind ALL day, but I've already discussed that (last night), so on to my next source of anxiousness/discomfort.
For the first time, I had to teach. A class of middle schoolers. Let me emphasize this: I.HAD.TO.TEACH.REAL.LIVE.MIDDLE.SCHOOL.KIDS. And if you're wondering what the big deal is, let me tell you that a) talking in front of a group is generally nerve-racking enough to begin with, b) not only did I have to speak but I had to develop a lesson plan and TEACH it, and c)middle schoolers will eat. you. alive.
HOWEVER, I quickly learned that these particular middle schoolers were not so evil...because they were merely [innocent?] sixth graders. Phew. But still, I am this small little person, trying to engage the attention of students who are practically as big as I am, and yet...
it. was. PHENOMENAL.
I couldn't believe it, I don't know exactly what or how it happened...but my methods teacher later described to the class of my peers that I had them "eating out of my hand", they were so involved and engaged.
And I couldn't figure it out...how did I achieve that? I'll admit, my lesson plan was pretty cool (it involved magnifying glasses and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches), but there were parts of the lesson that involved essay prompts and essay organization...I tried my best to include students in EVERY aspect of the lesson, to ask questions, let them do the explaining, to make the lesson as STUDENT-centered as possible. But I think it was also my confidence. I know. CONFIDENCE. Something I didn't think I had too much of. And yet, it was there, and as I stood in front of those eager little people (ha!), my nervousness suddenly dissipated, disappeared...and even though I didn't realize it at the time, I was teaching an effective lesson. Effective being the key word here. And yesterday was just one of those days where I felt like I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going. It was a beautiful, rare day when I could reflect on this crazy life of mine and be thankful that it is what it is and that, hey, I can do this for the rest. of. my. life.
Oh, and one last contribution to my teaching success yesterday: prayer. Let me tell you, the thing works.