He told the man offering him the job that he couldn't take it because he was too busy with the show and with the release of his first book. The man offering him the job said that he could keep the job open for him for after the show ends and after he is settled down a bit.
At that point, Gunn had to admit to the man that the real reason he could not take the job was because he was absolutely terrified of taking on the role.
The man told him that he would not be offering him the job if he was not going to be terrified.
Gunn went on to talk about how he is still slightly terrified at his jobs and when he does various things in his life.
If you had asked me a couple years ago - really, even last year - if there were moments when I teach that I am terrified, I would say, "Hell, no!"
But when he talked about this, I realized that there have been moments this school year when I have been standing in the hall during passing time and been a bit nervous about the coming class, about what I was going to be doing and if it would work.
I have never experienced this.
As I sat smiling as I listened to the great words of Tim Gunn (he said he was "ebullient"- how cool is his vocabulary?!), I mulled over why I am nervous this year of my teaching.
It is partly because I am teaching in a new state, partly because I am teaching in a school unlike any I have been in, partly because I am teaching the first group in the school that will take a state exam in social studies, and mostly because I am really challenging myself because of these things.
I have never spent so much time prepping for classes - even in my first year of teaching. I have never felt like I really understood and could make the students understand what they are doing and why.
I have always been able to help students understand content - even had many each year tell me that my class is the first time they have passed social studies/history. But this is different.
All this, and still make sure the delivery of content is interesting and not just me talking at the students. I am really trying to make sure that everything is purposeful and that everything is working toward the mastery of standards and content.
And that is a bit terrifying.
After almost a decade of teaching, it is ok for me to be a little nervous about my lessons and for me to work really hard on lessons.
I am still getting better.
My sisters both teach in the borough where you do, and my brother is teaching in the Bronx. My sister will be there 18 years this year, the other 10, and they still have that slightly nervous feeling. I think it keeps them on their toes, as the jobs you guys do is extremely important and challenging. One sis was moved to 4 & 5 testing classes the last few years and that adds to it I think. The one their 18 years teaches kindergarten and that is always interesting in itself. Good luck, and enjoy the new adventure. Thank you for the kind anniversary wishes yesterday. I just got home from a mini 2 day vacation at the long island vineyards. If you get a chance, I highly recommend you visit some now that you are living here. it is fun, and a nice change of pace.ReplyDelete
BK can be a tough spot with kids who think they are tough, too.Delete
Thanks for sharing that I am not the only nervous teacher who is not a newbie! I can't imagine dealing with kindergarteners and all of the issues they have in addition to teaching them content material.
I'll have to check out the vineyards! Thanks for the heads up!
I think it is great that you are nervous, because it means you care. That gets two thumbs up in my book! And you're right - "ebullient" is an awesome word :)ReplyDelete
Such an awesome word. I need to incorporate it into my regular vocab.
I think your nervous also a contributing factor for being excited :-) From what I read, I somehow feel you can definitely do it --and do it very well!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...Delete
Someone once told me if you're not nervous going in it isn't worth doing. Which is a good thing as my new job terrify's me on a daily basis. For the first time I actually have to teach kids something when the come to the library on a visit, it feels like a huge responsibility as I have always prefered to leave something so important to the superhumans they call teachers....Arrghh I have just scared myself even more :-/ReplyDelete
Good luck to you!! Hopefully it is reassuring to know that the kids are (mostly) there voluntarily and want to learn whatever you are teaching them. And - I like to think - we are all teachers in life.Delete
Ha, ish! We have a lot of school organised visits at the moment so it is effectively like being a guest teacher for an hour (I comfort myself that I can do my hour and then retreat to the staffroom!)Delete
I'm sure you'll do fine! Even if you don't feel you will, pretend you are confident in what you are doing and the kids will think you are awesome!Delete
I think that the fact that you're slightly terrified makes you a great teacher - one that continues to try and improve and one who doesn't just rely on something done previously. Great job!ReplyDelete
Thanks. I am definitely always trying to improve.Delete