As I had group study sessions with my friends during my masters, I realized how much I enjoy teaching and decided that is what I want to be. The voice of my career counselor I had met back in Class 10, echoed in my mind, how do you plan to choose this path if you say you have stage fear? I said to myself I will figure it out. I had been on stage multiple times since then, sometime anchored an event well, but on bad days I froze mid-sentence. I thought, if I just put myself out there, I will eventually get used to it. With this mindset I entered teaching, and boy was it tough, lesson plans never went I had imagined them to be. Needless to say, few months down the line, students were asked for feedback and it was just horrifying. Thankfully, my colleagues and the Head of the Department knew it is difficult for some in the beginning, and they told me to not let it get into the head, but also see how I can improve.
I kept thinking all night and the only different thing that stood out was I wasn’t being myself in class. I tried being all the teachers I looked up to, I tried being by other teachers around me who were really good at what they did. I decided that I need to stop trying so hard, and just be me, and teach as I would teach my friends. Maybe the students would never look up to me as a teacher, maybe I would seem a little extra, but I knew that was my only course of action.
Slowly and steadily my stage fear almost never returned. I could teach in those uncomfortable salwar kameezes all I had to do was be myself. Eventually I got the hang of it. My highest moment was speaking in front of around 200 students, hosting an event, with the strap of my heeled scandals being broken. It didn’t even matter, it just felt exhilarating.
I still get to explore elements of teaching in my job profile, but I miss public speaking so much, hopefully I will get to do it someday.