Today I presented in front of 230 PGCE students. Not 20, not 30, not even 50, but 230. Scary… This is what I thought in the morning. On my way to university I was reflecting on my decision to go through with a challenge – to talk to these students about my pilot research and give them some ideas of what they could do for their own inquiry based assignments.
Back then, in November, it seemed so distant and I thought I would have some more experience and be more confident, ‘I can do this, why not’. As the days were passing by and January approached, the idea of presenting was becoming more and more real and my confidence instead of increasing seemed to be vanishing. So there was the 18th of January, the day of my presentation, just around the corner… I began my planning, putting the PowerPoint slides together, thinking about examples from my research. Got it done and approved by my supervisor and I thought ‘That’s it, I should be ready’… until two days ago when I went to see the lecture theatre. It was massive, but somehow welcoming. I was standing in front of the rows to get the feel of the room and convince myself that I’d be all right. That took 20 minutes, as much as my presentation was supposed to last. Longest 20 minutes for a while now… I left the room and went straight to the gym to get all that anxiety and stress out and finally tune myself into a more positive mode.
So, yes, walking in the rain to university today I remember thinking that this day would never come…
Next thing I know I am in front of all these PGCE students, hundreds of them, all quiet and ready to listen to me. Pause. I had to start, that was it… I heard myself saying my name and what I do, I remember showing my first slide and talking about it and… magic, all that stress was gone, I wasn’t worried, wasn’t’ shivering, wasn’t stuttering. It felt so real and good, all these people were interested in what I had to say, all seemed focused and approving. I suppose that’s what I am always looking for – interest and approval. And I realised that my research was important and exciting not only to myself, other people were appreciating it now, thinking about it and getting inspired. I felt weightless in a good way, it was like being on top of the world, the feeling when you have done a really good job and you know it.
Reflecting back on this experience I can only say: I got it right, I got it right! And I loved it!!! Looking forward to the next one!