My First Attempt at Teaching
Last week I tried something completely different. I taught CEU courses. Naturally the topic was stroke care. Previously I've done presentations of an hour or two. Once I did a four-hour presentation on gait and hemiparetic gait. In every case, I've had support to fall back on. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised.
Until I did it, I had no idea how much work goes into a six-hour presentation. My biggest concern was not having enough material to fill the time. My second biggest was talking too quickly and being unable to manage the time. It's a weird feeling to be able to call for the breaks. I had to remember to keep checking my watch as none of the rooms had clocks.
To my credit, I never doubted my knowledge of the topic. I might have doubted my ability to present it, which isn't the same. What if no one asked a question? What if everyone looked bored? What if, what if? I was lucky. I had three wonderful groups. They all paid attention. They asked questions. To my surprise, I managed my time perfectly.
Being on the other side of the lectern is a sobering experience. I had to be careful about what I said. I could express opinions but everything had to be evidence-based. I couldn't mention specific products, only product types. Everything I did was done in front of a group of people. Suddenly I was an expert and expected to behave like one. I quickly learned that the groups were supportive and wanted me to succeed. They wanted to learn.
I learned something else very important. It was actually a lot of fun. I was exhausted when I got home. I was happy to get back to my warm weather. I missed my horses. But all in all, I had a good time and can't wait to do it again.