Compass Journal



This entry was composed during my last year of teaching, while I was seated with a class of Honors 10 students who — like me — were immersed in a five-minute free-write.

5-1-17     Crafting our entry together.

One thing I won’t miss about teaching is the weight of the students’ eyes while I am at the front of the room. During first hour I had to introduce prepositional phrases, using FD’s [Frederick Douglass’] narrative as a springboard. My students hadn’t been moving or talking, and I became hyper-aware of my vulnerability. This led to the approach of panic, a kind of claustrophobia of the gaze; I felt alarmed, trapped, embarrassed, incompetent. All because I could not control my anxiety. It was very disconcerting. My students began raising their hands, volunteering information, but I started choking up. I began to consider reasons why I might be able to leave the room. The wave passed, strangely, w/o my awareness. And then I was okay. Even stronger. Bizarre.

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