What if I Fall? Confronting Fear as a New Teacher

cc2de0ce2142674d97251d3905180506By Lauren Carufel-Wert — This past week was filled with various training sessions for my job as a Program Leader at day camp.

I quickly found out that my job was not what I had expected at all!

Originally, I thought I was going to be more a supervisor, making sure the kids were all in the right place at the right time and having others lead the kids in group activities. Boy was I way out of the ballpark…. like in another state!

Apparently as a program leader I was to be paired with another leader and together we would run a class of 20 kids, coming up with lesson plans and daily activities.  Ultimately, we would be in charge of pretty much everything! On top of everything, our class would be bilingual and contain multiple students with disabilities.

Once I realized this, I immediately began to doubt myself.  I called my boyfriend, crying, and told him I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

Fortunately, after a great deal of reassurance —  and a near panic attack — I realized that this experience was exactly what I needed.

The lesson plans, the daily activities, the classroom —  it was everything I wanted as an education student. And I think that’s what scared me so much. Suddenly, everything I wanted was thrust upon me and I was terrified that I couldn’t do it all, that I would let the kids down, that I would somehow screw up.

But I realized that I had to take a leap and take a chance on myself, because how else would I know if I could teach?

I saw this quote a few days ago and it is particularly poignant in this situation:

“What if I fall?
— Oh my darling, what if you fly?”

I finally realized that I had to take a chance and I had to do this job. I couldn’t give up —  because while there is always a chance for failure, there is also an opportunity for greatness and I won’t know unless I try.

So as I head to my first week of work, I am nervous; but, I am also excited because I can’t wait to see what these next 6 weeks will hold for me.

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