Confronting fears head on

What would life be if it weren’t scary at times? How else do we feel accomplished if not for facing our fears?

These are the questions I ask myself when thinking about teaching as a scary experience. I am scared about the future – how I will teach – if the kids will even like me – if they’ll take advantage of my young age? I fear the the front of the classroom where I’ll fake an air of authority, but really the students will see right through me. They’ll see a twenty-one year old who is more scared of them than they are of her.

However, is this feeling even a bad one? If anything, this nervousness about how I will teach and gain mutual respect with my students is a spurring motive for self-improvement. It actualizes the goal: confidence in teaching and having the balance of an authoritative position as a teacher, while simultaneously maintaining an accessible relationship with my students.

This confidence and balance that I seek are not hard to come by. They, as most of you can guess, are achieved through practice. I will soon teach with a cooperating teacher in the fall semester. Through this, I will gain legitimate hands-on experience in gaining confidence and understanding of what it means to be a good art teacher.

If anything, my nervousness will allow for a surprising vulnerability. Yes, kids, teachers can be scared, just like you. But don’t fret – this a good thing! Ultimately we are all human and all get scared at one point or another. It pushes us to take action to make a situation better. So, with this, I want to nurture my classroom as a space of vulnerability. Of freedom. Of challenges. Of expression. Of risk-taking. Of art.

And honestly, I can’t wait.


2 thoughts on “Confronting fears head on

  1. I like your outlook on fear as a needed experience, and I agree that it is much needed! Without fear we would be reckless individuals, not cautioning others wellbeing. This fear is the desire to succeed and the insecurity of failure that without, would leave us with little drive. I think an overarching thread with the fear of teaching, any aspect of teaching, is that it will just take practice! For the most part, any memorable teacher will have been well seasoned and worked out what they found to be kinks in the lesson. The funny thing is, sometimes the kids won’t even notice the kinks, but we are all our worst critic so of course we will dwell on them until they have been fixed.


  2. I really enjoy how you used fear as a motivation for self improvement. For many people, this is a very hard thing to ask of someone. Fear can control peoples lives, or even ruin them. As teachers however, it is a necessity, because it encourages us to prepare for the unexpected. As we practice teaching, these fears become worries, these worries become thoughts, and these thoughts eventually become advice. We have to learn through experience, and fear evokes adjusting. Thinking about fear in the way you present makes me feel more excited (still nervous) about teaching in the fall!


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