by Fred Seibert
The third prompt asked me to reflect upon an area where I would like to improve upon in future teacher observations. While I am consciously aware of the fact that there are always areas for improvement in my teaching, I believe that the area that I'd most like to focus upon is feeling more comfortable while having formal observations done. Although most people would characterize me as an energetic speaker, I sometimes suffer from stage fright.
I routinely create engaging lessons for students, and I expend a great deal of effort building relationships with students. Nonetheless, I still feel intensely nervous during observations and interviews. I wish that I could switch off the part of my brain that sends the fight or flight message that high-stakes situations signal for me. It's not that I don't value constructive criticism, because I have learned a great deal from the open and honest feedback that I've received from mentors seeking to help me improve my practice. I just feel more aware of my shortcomings whenever I'm trying my best to perform for a live audience that is different from the one that I might normally perform for. This RSA short on the "Power of Introverts" speaks to the issue I've addressed.
I'm not exactly sure how to go about making the mental shift, though. Also, I wonder whether other teachers feel the same way I do, or if I am truly in the minority.
Update: Susan Cain, the author of Quiet, shared this link on FaceBook. It seems to offer some good advice for people like me.