I remember hearing this fairly regularly as I was growing up and as I come from a long line of teachers of various sorts: music, elocution (snorts elegantly up sleeve), art and the usual school-type ranging from Reception to University lecturer, I’m surprised I wasn’t possessed of a vague, but persistent feeling that my family were somehow failed something elses. The fact that I can’t play a note, or produce anything but rather edgy stickmen and the very obvious fact that my “How now brown cow?” vowels are as flat they ever were always seemed to indicate some inadequacy in me. I know from other people and their stellar results after having been taught by these members of my family that my mother and my aunts were good teachers. And that seemed to me to be the point rather than them having failed in another arena.
Why am I talking about this?…..Oh yes, I taught this morning for the first time in what seems like decades. Sometime back I lost my mojo somewhere: I avoid the classroom, any kind of activity where people look at me, or expect anything from me and all and everything to do with pursuing an identified and required “outcome” or “goal”.
But today I had to take the bit between my teeth and get back on the horse – so to speak. I enjoyed it. Nay, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My blood ran warm in my veins, my brain sprang into life, my words flowed with precision and ease. I knew where I was going, what to do next, which things to deal with and how to approach them. The group was enthusiastic, focussed, vocal, jolly and appreciative.
Why then don’t I do it more often? Is it fear? Stage-fright, if you will? Does that make me a failed actress who took up teaching because of the captive audience? I cannot rightly say, but mojo or no, I’m going to get into the classroom more. For the moment it will be for my sake, but as the nerves unwind, I trust one day it’ll be for the students’ sake again.