Mingling before Class

The worst time for me in a workshop or presentation are those five or 10 minutes before the start time when the faculty participants are arriving. My stomach is in knots. I'm wishing I were at home. I know I haven't prepared enough. Somebody is going to ask me a question I can't answer. I get through it by using a technique I happened on when I was teaching. I use the time to chat. In workshops, I pass out handouts, introduce myself, and find out about those who have chosen to attend the session. “What do you teach?” “Where does that course fit in the program?” “How big are your classes?” “How's the semester going?” Listening to others means less time thinking about myself, but I've also learned it's a good way to find out firsthand some things about those attending.

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