Stressed doesn’t even begin to describe my state of mind right now, which surprises me a little because I’ve definitely been more stressed in the past. In my gap year between Warner and my undergrad graduation I worked at an IT company down the street from the New York Stock Exchange. The four hour round trip commute combined with a regular nine hour work day turned an okay workday into a 13 hour mess. And on top of that, because I am a person who loves my sleep, I found myself going to bed about 45 minutes after I would get home each night just so I wouldn’t be miserable the next day. Add on overseeing a project that was doomed from the get-go and applying to graduate school and you can understand how I unintentionally ended up forced into a year of permanent stress. Thank goodness that I was living at home and had my mom to take care of me otherwise I probably wouldn’t have made it out alive.
So, maybe she’s the missing link that why I’m feeling so unbelievably stressed right now (how else am I going to make sure I have clean clothes to wear!), or maybe it’s that all I have left to eat for lunch is peanut butter, bread, and American cheese (which is borderline inexcusable because I live within about 100 yards of a giant Wegmans). But, to be honest, it’s probably all because being in front of kids for more than 10 or 15 minutes for the first time is surprisingly terrifying to me. I usually do pretty well in front of crowds, last year at work I was leading meetings and giving presentations to groups of adults twice my age without a second thought. But kids, adolescents, middle schoolers! Goodness, for some reason they’re making me very nervous (in a good way).
We’ve done so many readings and talked so much about being engaging and making learning not school-y; I think I’m struggling with it a little because, looking back, my high school experience was 100% the anti-Warner-way. I took notes off of overhead projector slides, filled in the blank notes, read textbooks and took my own notes, and did dozens of labs that were strictly demonstrating concepts without letting me explore them at all. One of our past readings said that a lot of your future teaching style stems from what you’re familiar with, and it’s disappointing to me that what I am most familiar with at this point is the antithesis of what Warner is teaching me about. So maybe that’s the root of my stress, knowing that my comfort zone isn’t where I want to/should be leading my campers from; so, most things we do and plan aren’t going to be gut instincts for me. That point is becoming fairly evident during lesson planning, I have found myself once or twice planning something very school-y and having to go back to square one to inject some “Warner” into my plans.
Anyway, I’m definitely rambling at this point. I have a lot of stress right now but thankfully my cohort is there with me. We’re all in this boat together and I’m sure we’ll be able to weather this storm …. because I’m pretty sure there’s worse coming our way!!