I’m a self-conscious perfectionist–a horrible combination when you’re a first-time teacher like me. The first day of SB, I was so nervous of messing up or saying the wrong thing in front of my students, and the more nervous I felt, the more stressed I got. But one class changed that perspective. I had just returned to the classroom after getting more index cards, and I was passing by the whiteboard on the side wall to go up to the front of the classroom. There wasn’t much space between my students’ chairs and the metallic part of the whiteboard on which the markers rest. As a result, my sweatshirt sleeve caught on the edge of the metallic addition, and I full-out tripped in front of my entire class. My students were courteous enough to not laugh out loud, but there were some laughing behind their hands.
I felt like my professional attitude had just been stripped away because of that one embarrassing moment, but after that, my students felt more comfortable with me, and vice versa. So the main thing I’ve learned and the piece of advice I’d share with my peers is that you shouldn’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. It lightens the mood in the classroom, and I’ve been able to get to know my students better because they see me not just as a teacher, but also as a regular person.