I can do it again
“Last time wasn’t bad. It can only get better now”, I thought. Some staff had even complimented me. But what if they were just being nice? Maybe they just thought I needed the encouragement. Even though my last experience was positive, I couldn’t quiet the strong voice of self-doubt that I have always had.
I was booked for an afternoon again, in the same class and in the same school. I was delighted at first. I was able to go somewhere familiar which took away some of my initial worries. But then of course I began to feel that they would have expectations. I have to keep getting better. What if I was worse?
I read through my instructions for the afternoon. I greeted the children and the TA, who gave me a familiar smile. I proceeded with the register, and began to teach phonics which I hadn’t done last time. I had never taught this in reception before, and became flustered rather quickly. I wasn’t sure if the TA was looking directly at me, but it certainly felt like her eyes were burning into my face. I felt like she could see my quivering lips that weren’t sure if they were saying the right things in the right way. She could see my hand shaking and without question would have seen my cheeks becoming more and more blushed.
As my years at home had passed by, schools had gone through great changes. New curriculums, new technology, and pronunciations of such phonics had even changed. I was aware of this, but wasn’t sure if I was saying it all correctly. I could see some expressions across her face. I wasn’t sure what they meant or what she was thinking, but I had convinced myself that it could only be negative.
We got through the rest of the afternoon. As I had already used my ‘I’ve been out of the classroom for 8 years’ disclaimer, I instead relayed to her how I had noticed how things had changed, and made my excuses for any mistakes. It was increasingly evident that what people thought of me and my performance was incredibly important to me. This would become a problem in the weeks and months to come.