Most librarians, even those of us who are devoted to teaching, will admit that many of the same challenges that actors face in terms of stage fright also plague teachers from time to time. After ten years of teaching in libraries, I almost always feel anxious and frightened prior to any type of instruction. To overcome my fear of public speaking as a novice teacher, I started using sarcasm as a coping mechanism. Sarcasm, I have discovered, does not translate well to the classroom setting and put me in complete opposition with my authentic self. Letting go of this crutch has not been easy, but it has been necessary to the successful development of my teacher identity. Without that barrier between myself and the students, teaching and learning experiences have become more open and egalitarian, so that now we share in the vulnerability and the anxiety, as well as the benefits and opportunity that come with it.


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