So let me tell you, I am not a teacher. I have never taught a class, and honestly never really worked with kids before. But let me tell you what I am doing here at Starfish… I’m teaching.
Yesterday marked my first day of official classes. For the first two weeks of my internship I will be teaching a class on coping skills. I was honestly more nervous than I have ever been in my life for my first class to start. What if I made a fool out of myself in front of the kids? What if I only talked for half the class then didn’t know what to do for the rest of it? All these thoughts raced through my head yesterday before I started my morning class.
But, like most things in life that we worry about, all the bad outcomes I imagined in my head didn’t happen. My morning class has only 3 students because the class is extremely individualized. These three students showed up at the library probably as nervous as I was because they didn’t know what the class was about. But as soon as I introduced myself and had them pronounce their names for me a few times, the atmosphere started to lighten up.
We started off informally, and I asked them questions about what they already knew and what they wanted to learn from the class. Then we jumped right in to one of my favorite exercises called The Five Senses Exercise. You think about a happy memory and use all your senses (see, hear, taste, touch, smell) to describe the memory in detail. This way you really experience the memory, and it can bring back happy feelings if you are upset. Next they identified what stress is and the types of stress they have in their lives. They listed off so many for such young girls, it made me realize that I don’t truly experience much stress in my life.
Both of my classes did this yesterday. This morning the classes were having presentations, and one of my girls was so excited that she wanted to share what we were learning even though we only had one class. It’s inspiring just being here and witnessing how motivated they are to learn. I’m excited for what my class will accomplish in the next two weeks!