Thursday, July 14, 2016

Confession: I'm Scared

This is not at all running related; I needed to get my thoughts out there so I can come to terms and shake this off. What a better way to do that than on TOL Thursday?

Note: I wrote this post before my first two training days, but now that I've gone I feel a bit better. Training has helped me remember that no one expects me to be perfect immediately (or ever) and that I have an entire team of people who can offer support when I need it. But, some of my fears still I'm still publishing this post.

I began training for my new job this week. From Tuesday to Friday, I'm learning about what's on my plate for this upcoming school year. Beginning July 25, I'll be officially training new teachers. And right now, I'm scared.

I'm scared my students won't have a socially conscious teacher who will openly discuss politics with them. I don't force my views on students; we discuss, question, analyze, and wonder. We come to mutual understandings. They have learned in my class that privilege exists, that racism and sexism exist, that to embrace other's differences is an obligation we all have, and that we must not give up fighting for equality.

Especially in the current political climate, I worry.

I'm scared my students won't get all they deserve out of the Holocaust unit this year, because I won't be there to answer the hard questions and give them knowledge that goes beyond our classroom materials.

I'm scared my students won't ever learn to LOVE writing in any capacity. That they'll brush off poetry; that they'll feel censored when they write fiction. That the new teacher will follow the curriculum map TOO faithfully and miss out on some of the organic moments where true, meaningful learning and growing happens.

I'm scared my students won't have a teacher they can trust. Someone they can truly be open with about fears and stress. Someone who takes them seriously as young adults, not just children.

I told Matt, after I'd been offered this new job, that I know I'm an awesome teacher; I'm great at my job, and I fear I may be doing a disservice to this upcoming class of 8th graders because they'll have someone else. Our other teachers are fantastic but it's hard to give up control, you know?

I'm also scared I'll struggle with my new job. That my anxiety will cripple me or that teachers won't bother to take my advice seriously. That I'll come off as a know-it-all. That I'll lose paperwork or give people the wrong answers. That I'll waste the precious time of my mentors and superiors as they try to help me acclimate.

And I know that I'll be able to take it one day at a time and figure things out and acclimate quickly - I'm truly a fast learner - but I can't seem to stop myself from worrying. I just really want to do my best and be as helpful and useful as possible.

So wish me luck, guys...because this week is the start of my next big adventure and the first time I'll be doing something new in the seven years I've been at my school.

Any words of wisdom or advice?
How do you overcome fear?



  1. I fear change and the unknown as well. I feel being a burden on people and not doing a good job. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. But obviously everyone training you is probably happy to have you and believes in you and wants you to do a good job. :)

    And of course as teachers it is so hard to give up control, but remember, someone gave up control so you could be an awesome 8th grade teacher, now you are giving it up to make room for someone else. :) Maybe offer to teach one Holocaust lesson to each class? Like an "ask me anything" lesson or something like that.

    At the end of the year, have the people you train fill out an anonymous survey so you can get feedback. That is my only advice! Our old principal did that about twice a year because he really wanted to have feedback and do a good job for us.

  2. I think you don't need luck, you stated on top why you will be good at your new position, because you have knowledge and experience to share with other teachers and that can then translate to the students.

    It's normal to be scared and miss the old aspects of your job, especially when you enjoy your job! And it is especially hard to give up control!

  3. To grow, we must step out of our comfort zone...You've got this Ali. And you can teach these new teachers everything you fear your students are missing so that they can ensure they don't. (boy that was wordy)!

  4. "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Scripted onto the BR wall at my dermatologist's office. So important for women to remember!

  5. Sending you positive vibes!! I know you will do great on this new journey!

  6. It's perfectly normal to be nervous and gave self doubts.

    All the things you mention tell me that you will be great and they knew what they were doing when they chose you for this new job.

    I can say that because I was a teacher for over 20 years.

  7. I've never met you, but I can tell from this post what an awesome teacher you are! I think you'll really be able to add so much value in your new role.

  8. I think its totally normal to be worried about the classes you won't get to teach. There are no teachers that are like you because there simply can't be another you! But that is also why you are going into a job to train teachers - so that you can help them to better be like you. :) Which is an awesome teacher who is a great example to others!

    As for starting a new job, you're going to be great! I won't tell you not to be nervous because that isn't possible for people like us that struggle with anxiety and what not. But you will be awesome.

  9. Congratulations on your new position! Are you going to be like a mentor/coach in the building and not teaching in the classroom? We have a few teachers who transitioned from the classroom to coach positions and they have been helpful in our buildings.