I am shaking, trembling. My nerves are through the roof. I hate public speaking. As I look at the three students in front of me, I realize this cannot really count as public speaking — having merely three students, one of which is my husband.
I have spent the past several hours preparing for this class, figuring out the curriculum and what I’m going to say, trying to find enough stuff to fill an hour.
It’s time — my watch reads 7 o’clock. I must begin.
I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I glance down at my notes, trying not to look like I am reading them as I quickly scan through the information.
I stumble over my words and my face grows hot. I know it is red. I flash back to middle school, standing in front of the class while giving a speech on a celebrity of our choice (I chose Leonardo DiCaprio). You know, the kind of memory that’s seared into your brain because it was so embarrassing? Suddenly, all those eyes are upon me as I feel my body freeze. I wish I could close my eyes and make it all disappear.
I have been teaching a creative writing class — sharing knowledge and learning along the way. I have learned how to prepare a syllabus, give out writing assignments, talk to students, speak to a group.
I have gotten out of my comfort zone.
Tonight was class number four. Though I have gotten better at talking to the class, and we’ve had some fun times and lively discussions, I was still dreading it. I was over-prepared, I knew what I wanted to say, yet I was shaking (though thankfully less visibly).
And I’ve come to realize…I am not a teacher.
I realized that I do not have a passion for teaching creative writing. Aside from the fears of speaking to a group, my passion does not lay with teaching this subject.
After talking to several people who read this post, I realized that I do like to share knowledge. But the knowledge that I like to share is about animals, animal care, and conservation (to small groups). I like sharing information at the Wolf Center. I like talking about wildlife. I like talking about the care of pets. This is the type of teaching I enjoy.
It just took me a while to realize the difference.