Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stage Fright

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.


Anonymous said...

I get the same way in front of adults. Recently I've had to talk a lot in faculty meetings and practice really does help.

I feel for the girl. I had one student do this last year and she presented to only me after school. I'm not sure how to fix this or if it is even necessary to fix. I hope the rest of the projects went well. Thanks for the shout out.

KFouss said...

I just try and tell myself that it's short lived and I'll be fine afterwards. Sometimes that helps. :)

I just felt bad for putting that poor girl through the stress. But she got through it and maybe will remember that next time.

Thanks for the project!