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.