Last time I mentioned my students completing their Insight Projects. As they get them done they have to present to the class. It will come as no shock that this causes a great deal of angst in many students. I can’t blame them I can teach to students all day long, or talk in small groups of adults, but ask me to do a presentation to a large group of adults and I’m a mess and not a hot mess just a mess. My stomach will fill with butterflies, I’ll begin to shake, as will my voice, I have to fight myself to make eye contact. It’s not good. I still do it because I’m supposed to and because I wholeheartedly believe it’s good to face your fears (hence why I forced myself to try out the Superman ride at Six Flags, ugh falling from heights eeekkk).
For any student that is worried or suffers stage fright I have some tips I share: look over people’s heads, pick one person you trust and speak just to them, practice practice practice, and always remember this is not a life or death situation.
I had one student who just at the mere mention of presenting began to shake. I promised the student that I would stand with them and help. The student stood next to the SMART board. I stood between them and the class. As the student spoke I patted their back, and whispered words of encouragement, repeated anything that was spoken too quietly for the class to hear, by the last two slides the student had stopped shaking, though they still stood a bit stooped over but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.
When I pointed this out to the student, hands went up to cheeks as the jaw dropped, and eyes just lit up. This kiddo was so excited that they had done it, they had made the presentation and they had gotten to a point where they really didn’t need me. Those are moments that make a teacher’s day, week, year!
I just love it when my kids surprise themselves!