“What Ifs” in Teaching

I am always filled with “what ifs?”  Especially in teaching.  I started my application with Outschool a bit ago, but my “what ifs” filled me until two months had passed!  I realized if I had just done it when I started I could have been teaching this whole time.  Now that I have entered the platform I am STILL asking, “what if?”

“What if I make classes and no one signs up?”

“What if too MANY students sign up and I am overwhelmed?!”

“What if I have IT problems and I give the learners a bad experience?” 

We all have what ifs, but what can we do about them?  

I also work for VIPKid, and I had these same questions before I started with them.  It even took me a year before I finally applied!  It was Angela’s kind words and videos that convinced me I could do this, that it could change my life.  And it did!  I’m happier, I am supporting my family more, I can breathe easier.  I occasionally berate myself for not doing it sooner, for not solving my problems myself sooner. But I always say, “I can only do as much as I can do.”  I wasn’t ready, I couldn’t manage it. I am so happy I finally did.

As I was having all those, “what if” questions, I was still teaching my VIPKid classes. I had open timeslots that people weren’t booking.  I had some very busy days and was overwhelmed. I had IT issues and figured them out.  I was having a great time teaching WHILE experiencing all of those “What Ifs” from my Outschool concerns.  I realized that I CAN do it!

I’ve learned to write down my “what ifs”, to talk them out, and to get past my own self doubt (OK not really).  But I have learned that those are the steps I need to take when I am ready to tackle them.  I’m still working on planning my classes, I’m still figuring things out, but I have a plan. 

When I start to avoid things I know I want to do because of the “what ifs” and the “what abouts” I have learned to make a list.  I also do this for any type of everyday thing that I am distracting myself from.  I am a list maker.  Am I a list completer? Ha, no.  But it’s there, reminding me of what I can work on. 

Do something, a little thing, then check Facebook for the millionth time (I have also learned to set timers on my distractions!).  Move on to something else you can do.  Do what you can, when you can.  It will get done. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay.  Keep working on it.  

Here is a list helper I created.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to fit in the box.  It doesn’t have to be a big problem.  See if it can help you get past your “what ifs.”  I’ll keep trying to get past mine too.