” You can only hold a smile for so long, after that it’s just teeth.” Chuck Palahniuk, Author of Fight Club
Today is what these Firsts are all about: stretching myself, doing things I have never done before, stuff that scares me, stuff that I am not already good at, in front of other people. Sure, trying a new kind of yoga class is a little bit intimidating, but not really. I know the teachers, they are super supportive and sweet, and they have my back. Pretending to be in the market for a half a million dollar house is a bit of a stretch because I don’t even know the home-buying business or language, but I’ll never see that handsome real estate agent again, so who cares? Riding an elephant bareback was scary but I had San there with me and I love elephants.
Today could have gone very well or very badly and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go – until it went. I have been co-teaching a couple of classes at work for a couple of months: Tasking and Data Management (interesting stuff, folks). Co-teaching is not really teaching, it’s having someone else there with you to hold your hand. Someone to find the words for you when you struggle to find them. Someone to complete your sentences when your brain goes blank in the middle of a presentation. Someone to answer all of the hard questions while you stand there and look at a speck on the wall.
I had no safety net today. It was all me and it was scary. I didn’t have my co-teacher. I was nervous. I don’t think I smiled at all. I can hear you in my head: “You? Not smile? Yeah right!” Ordinarily, I am the smiling-est person I know. Apparently when I am nervous, I get all super-serious and matter-of-fact. I don’t even think the students in the class know I have teeth. I’ll work on the smiling part. And the speed. I gave a two hour class in 50 minutes!
So keeping with the theme of silly poems, I wrote a silly poem about my first day teaching a class by myself:
The students walked in and looked at me
As I began to speed-speak
I’m usually outgoing and very smiley
Going to have to work on my technique