I began my first experience of teaching today in front of my friends. For this session, we were learning to teach the set induction; starting the lesson to warm up the students before the actual lesson starts by eliciting something fun related to the topic of the day.
The night before, I was having a lot of thoughts, mainly about the kind of teacher I will be. I was scared that my anxiety and nervousness will be transparent to my students, I will be found out and exposed and I will look like a laughing stock instead. I was always weak when I need to stand in front of a crowd.
Interestingly, I step to the center of the classroom with feigned confidence and a big smile on my face, which I never thought I could make before. I started teaching and I felt the cringe crawling on my skin. I heard my annoyingly high-pitched voice resonating in my own eardrum and I look at the faces of my friends and the one minute I stood in front felt like a whole ten minute.
I ended the set induction abruptly, indeed, it is bad but that the way I teach was not the element I was focusing on during the presentation. Instead, I was testing myself on my ability to stand there unaffected by my own emotion and fear. I would say, I did a good job covering up my nervousness and faking my confidence.
However, after I came back home and compared myself with the rest of my friends who had done their micro-teaching, I realized that I am very weak at making small talks with the students.
My friends started the class by asking the students a few personal, out-of-topic questions to get them talking and comfortable first. However, I failed to do that. I did tried by asking ‘Have you eaten?’ but it felt too cringing that I did not proceed beyond that and immediately went on with my lesson.
Honestly, I am very worried about this because we need a lot of interaction with students in the future to establish the repertoire. Small talks about personal thing is a good start to get the students comfortable with us but I am sure I will not be able to do it in the real setting.
I plan to list down a few phrases I can use to greet the students and start a small talk and I am not trying to be negative but, I am pretty sure no matter how prepared I am for the small talk, I will skip it in the end.