My first official teaching

So this week was my first attempt at formal teaching.  I’d written a TNA, Lesson Plan and session on Equality & Diversity that will eventually supplement the apprenticeship programme.

I sat through an accredited programme, did my research, looked at the issues in my workplace and felt I had some material that touched all the relevant points.

In the weeks leading up to the presentation there was some nerves, which always leads to reviewing the material.  I had to stop myself overanalysing the material or it would never be ready to deliver.

I ran a practice session with my team and ironed out some technical issues with the videos and projector.

I tried to run a practice session in the board room but was bumped for other meetings so was praying “it would be alright on the night”. 

All that was left to do was practice, practice, practice.  Simples??? What could possibly go wrong???

Then drama hit the team the week before.  This led to a full site briefing on a different matter, long shifts, and complicated conversations.  Sleepless nights and no time to “practice, practice, practise”. 

I was still relatively comfortable … I mean I have just briefed over 200 people so public speaking wasn’t going to be an issue.

The big day arrived, I have the IT team on standby for any tech issues, and I have the Senior Team prepped to arrive on time, with a pen and their “professional” selves. 

I arrived early to set up my laptop … and guess what, the connectors are missing, the presentation wouldn’t play on the big screen and before I knew it, I was 20 minutes behind, before I’d started.  This threw my confidence drastically.  I know I know my stuff, I know I can answer questions, but felt a huge dip in confidence and the pressure of the team looking at me.  No amount of chocolate bribery would get me out of this hole. Dissapointed at myself for not being ready … even though I know some of the circumstances were beyond my control, I also didn’t need to leave it till the week before the practice.

We did get there in the end and I won’t be beaten:

  • I know it ended well
  • The feedback sheets were positive
  • I could answer the questions
  • Everyone enjoyed the session
  • Everyone seemed to partake in the discussion
  • I managed to control the session when conversations drifted
  • All the chocolates were eaten

Learning points:

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Don’t be one of those “old” people who don’t like tech
  • Because I was flummoxed, I struggled to remember my slides, I will be better at that next session. 
  • Feedback isn’t personal, it’s a development opportunity

As Nick Shackleton-Jones (author of How People Learn) says … “challenges create learning”. I am learning everyday.

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