I have never been so anxious about feedback in my life. I have to collect some anonymous survey data from teachers so that I can set goals for my year, and it has me shaking in my boots. I know that this is a great opportunity and their answers are information that I really want and need, but I’m still dragging my feet on collecting it. I have this gnawing anxiety that everyone is just going to let loose on how much they hate me and what a terrible, destructive job I’m doing.
(It’s probably important to note that this isn’t based on anything that anyone has said. People are nothing but positive to my face, but that doesn’t stop me from coming up with elaborate ideas for the terrible things they’ll be waiting to say anonymously.)
This was not my problem in teaching; I was always dying for feedback. I think that’s because in my first year I knew everything was a wreck, and I also knew that no one expected any more from me than what I was already doing. After my first year, I felt pretty secure in my improvement and knew feedback would only help me get better, not destroy me.
Now, I’m in a position where there is little leeway for me to be struggling, even in my first year. I also don’t have any prior feedback to give me baseline confidence. I feel like the school needs me to be great, and so I’m constantly in my own head trying to figure out where I failed this time. No matter how many nice things people say to me, I always wonder if they’re just trying to be nice. I am an insecure little puddle and it’s really sort of embarrassing.
Time to rip of the band-aid. Hopefully once I have a first round of feedback, I’ll stop doing this mental assault on myself all the time.