Nerves and Poetry

Not so long ago I wrote this post about how important I think it is be self-confident as a teacher.

Then yesterday I had a moment that had me almost as nervous as the first time I ever stood in front of a class.

I read an amazing poem by Ben Orlin a few weeks ago called Once There Weren’t Numbers and I loved it so much that I decided to read it to one of my classes.

At the end of a lesson I got them all to pack up a few minutes early and told them I was going to read them a poem – but get excited because it’s a maths poem! And then all of a sudden I got really nervous. Like the type of nerves I had when I stood in front of a class for the first time ever. I was thrown back to my high-school days of speech giving. I was actually shaking and I didn’t know why. I stand in front of these kids every day. I get along with all of them. I can joke with them and they engage really well with everything I give them. So why was I so nervous?

Reflecting on it now I think it might have been because I was revealing something of myself to them. Revealing my inner nerd and love for nerdy maths things to them (even more than I usually do) and maybe I was scared they would think it was stupid – that they’d reject it.

Turns out they loved it just as much as me – and I knew they would! That’s why I chose to read it to them in the first place so we could bask in its amazingness together.

If you haven’t already, you should read it so you can bask too.


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