January 25, 2011

I’ve been asked to teach a class called Money Smarts at USC Upstate for people who have recently been released from jail or have gotten in trouble with the law due to fraud/kiting/or anything to do with money.  Yea… no lie.

When I was asked if I would be interested I was also told that there would be 10 people at most in the class and it would be all women, with an Officer sitting in the class with me.  I thought about it and agreed to teach the class since this would look great on my resume and I could always use some practice with public speaking since that’s not my favorite thing to do.

I got all the information for the hour and a half classes that takes place in a 2 week time period on Monday – Wednesday.  I studied the info.  Made sure I was ready to teach… or try and teach without stuttering like an idiot.

Yesterday was my first class and after driving around for about 10 minutes and finding the classroom I walked into a class of TWENTY SEVEN people… where FIVE of them were women… plus a 2 year old.  I wanted to turn around and RUN!

I was freaking out!!!! 

After everyone was settled and had there information for the class I introduced myself and started the first section.  The over head projector had the same dialog as the printouts in front of everyone and I didn’t want to just go through and read everything out loud… I mean everyone can read it!  So I tried to summarize sections instead of reading word for word but I couldn’t make any sense of the words that were coming out of my mouth.  I tried to find a way to see the projector but not stand in front of it so I thought it might workout better if I sat down… also meaning I wouldn’t face the very large class and have to make eye contact. 

Sounds perfect!

I sat down and put the notebook on my lap and kept going over the first slide.  When I had to move to page two with the hand held control I dropped my notebook on the floor making all of my information go everywhere.  I wanted to cry.  I felt all the blood rush to my face and all the sudden I was hot and my palms were clammy.   

Just thinking about it right now makes my ears hot.  Eeeek!

Then I stood up and decided I would stand to the side and use the actual mouse for the computer instead since that would be much easier.  As I was going on to page 2 everyone started whispering and talking… I felt like a middle school teacher with a class of kids that didn’t care about ANYTHING I had to say.  Finally one of the guys in the front row said “we don’t have that page!”  Apparently the notebooks only had ODD pages!  Seriously… about to cry any second.

I then said well, let’s just go along with what’s on the screen and if you have any questions just let me know.  The director of the class said she would have new notebooks tomorrow with ALL the pages so the rest of the sessions would go smoother.  Uhhh… thanks! 

The rest of the class was a blur.  I started reading word for word instead of trying to summarize anything because I couldn’t event think!  I stood up reading and answering questions until 7:20 and completed 2 of the 10 sections and kept thinking, THANK GOD IT’S OVER!  After the class I talked to the director and asked if she had any advice.  She said “just don’t read everything word for word.”  All I could do was laugh.  I told her that I had no intention on doing that but was a little overwhelmed and would be more prepared for tomorrow’s class. 

Tonight was SOOO much better!!!  I wasn’t surprised by the large group of mostly men plus a few women & minus the toddler this time.  I had notes written to summarize instead of reading everything.  It was a lot easier since I knew what to expect.  It still makes me incredibly nervous to do anything in front of a crowd that I don’t know.  Give me a room of friends or co-workers and I will be just fine… but a room of people looking at me like this is the LAST place they want to be... well it’s a little intimidating!  Not to mention the ones sleeping which only makes me feel like the MOST boring person ever!

At least I can work on my speaking skills… by next Wednesday I will be a PRO

haha, at least I hope!!! :-/


Jessica said...

You will be a pro by next Wednesday! had a tough crowd! Poor you!

Cassie Lee said...

Thanks... it was definitely something new for me! haha!! :)

brittneybolt said...

Cassie, that is awesome! I am so impressed, i would be terrified!! :) good job!

Cassie Lee said...

aww! Thanks, Brittney! I finished my last class yesterday and I felt so accomplished after!!

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