If you have read my previous posts you will know that I am embarking on my first TEFL Teaching experience this year. What you may not know is that I am terrified!
Normally in life when I am confronted with a situation in which I need to actually try – usually something that I really want to achieve or be good at – I will walk away from it. Horrible habit but it avoids the eventual failure and so on. When I had fully committed to this job, even though it is only for 3 weeks, I was hit by that familiar urge to back out. The fact that my flights were already paid for is mainly what stopped me.
I was sent the weekly plan/itinerary recently and I just started panicking. I have to plan 15 English lessons each week that I am there. How am I supposed to teach kids anything? I’m not a trained teacher! I’ve never been responsible for children before! I have no idea what I’m doing! Yes there will be plenty of support from the Romanian staff. Yes, it is only a summer camp and not a ‘classroom setting’ type place. But I am still so nervous I can hardly bear it! Not to mention the social aspect of it all. What if I don’t get on with the other trainers? What if it turns out I actually hate teaching? What if…? I fill my head with all the things that go wrong instead of just waiting to see how it is for myself.
Then I remember I have a TEFL qualification. I know how to plan lessons, the structure to use, what games and activities are most effective with each age group. I have learned techniques to keep children interested and motivated in learning English. In theory, I am already a teacher. It’s just putting it into practice that is throwing me off. I can plan as many lessons as I like but I will never truly know what teaching is going to be like until my first class. Unfortunately I have 3 months to stress out about it. I need to just accept that new experiences are nerve-wracking and to not let those nerves stop me from doing things. (I got my car M.O.T’ed for the first time today and I was a bag of nerves.. so going to teach in Romania is going to send those stress levels off the charts!)
I’m looking forward to that feeling of accomplishment at the end of it all. I’m relying so much of TEFL to help me with my travelling so I really hope I enjoy it. But if I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll find another way.
Have any of you ever been so nervous and stressed out about something but gone through with it anyway? How awesome did you feel afterwards?