Merlin Mann's "Back to Work" podcast. Part of the podcast was about anxiety. I'm quite familiar with the a-word. I suppose everyone is, to one extent or the other. I woke up at about 2 a.m. and started thinking about the lesson I'd taught the evening before, judging everything I said and did, and wondered if I'd ever get it right.
My teaching anxiety stems from my first teaching job in 2006. I was stumbling around, but feeling okay with the stumbles, since I figured everyone is allowed time to get their groove. One of my supervisors decided to give my class a surprise visit on a day when I was sick and trying to help 30 students prepare for a major test they had to pass in order to start taking business classes. After class, she sat down next to me and basically said I'd done a terrible job and the school wouldn't be asking me back for another term. I, of course, cried. At the end of her proclamation, she decided to give me a "second chance." My "second chance" must've cut the mustard, because by the time I left that school, I was teaching 24 class hours and frazzled. She never gave me any feedback--positive or negative--on my "second chance." I never saw the sheet of paper I was supposed to sign after an observation, and she left the school soon after. I hate that her insensitive behavior still haunts me. I won't pretend that the class in question was stellar, but I was young, inexperienced, and desired only to please, and she took advantage of that. Whether it was conscious or unconscious, I'll never know.
Merlin talked about how anxiety drowns out all but the negative voices. Those negative voices were running roughshod over me at 2 am.