I detest speaking in front of people. When I get to a meeting and know I'm going to have to say something, I worry and go over and over in my head what I'm gong to say. In those few seconds before it's my turn to talk, my heart races and I get light-headed. Then I say my thing, take a deep breath, and I'm fine.
I guess I just get so concerned about everyone looking at me and sounding dumb.
In class? Totally fine. Teenagers aren't real people - who cares what they think? :) I am sure that I've looked and sounded dumb every day for the last 14 years. I've danced and sung in front of classes and (though I can literally feel my face turning bright red) don't care. But put me in front of one of our faculty meetings and the issues begin.
I bring this up because in my precalculus classes yesterday and today, the kids have been presenting their results from a Wolfram Demonstrations project I'd assigned (I totally stole it from Amber Caldwell here - but I asked first!). I read through their papers last night, and they really found some interesting demonstrations that illustrated topics we've covered in class this year. In class I asked them to pick one demonstration and show how it could be applied to a specific problem from our book. We're talking 2 - 3 minutes tops.
This morning a teacher friend came up to my room - I have her senior daughter in class (she was absent yesterday). She told me her daughter had stayed home yesterday because she was so worked up about the presentation; the girl was currently in her mom's classroom refusing to come to our first period class. I felt horrible. I can totally understand what the girl's going through. She's a sweet, quiet, listener-type (totally opposite her wild and crazy mother, btw) and has probably been fretting over this since I first assigned the project.
I tracked her down in her second period class and reassured her that I understand her anxiety and asked her to come up after school and just show me what she found - hopefully she's not worrying about it all day. Poor thing.