This year, our teachers are implementing TWO new curricula! Teachers each have new math curricula and we are piloting Lucy Caulkins Writing Units of Study. I would be little help in a math class, but my principal asked me to push into classrooms to help get our writing curriculum going. I plan to help teachers get it going, give input during lessons, help with conferences, and even do model lessons.
Today was my first model lesson in a first grade classroom and I was SO NERVOUS! I wanted to make sure the students were engaged so that the teacher felt like she could focus on the lesson instead of management. I wanted to make the lesson helpful so that the teacher would feel like it fits right in with what she's already doing. I wanted to make the lesson fun so that the students didn't feel like they were missing out by not having their own teacher give the lesson.
My face got hot and I just KNEW it was bright red. My heart was palpitating in my chest. My hands were shaking. The more I noticed the redder my face got, the more fluttery the butterflies got, and the shakier my hands got.
The best way to handle nerves I've noticed is just to say, "I'm nervous everyone!" So I told the first graders I was nervous and that I was going to try to be brave today and I hoped that they would be brave in their writing. We finished the lesson together (on what to do when you're trying to write a word you don't know) and the students were ready for their writing time. The lesson wasn't perfect, but the students for sure knew what the point of the lesson was, participated fully, and were ready to incorporate the ideas into their own work.
My world did not crumble before me. I survived. In fact, I'm so glad the lesson went well that I'm actually looking forward to doing some model lessons in other rooms as the year goes on!