Anxiety — First Day Jitters #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes anxiety. Who has anxiety or what is the source? Is there conflict? How can you use anxiety to further a story? Go where the prompt leads!

Anxiety is probably familiar to most of us at some stage of our lives — starting a new job, public speaking, waiting for a medical diagnosis. We all feel it in lesser or greater degrees. Even children feel it. It’s not uncommon for children to feel some anxiety when starting a new school. But children aren’t the only ones. Parents may feel some anxiety about how their children will fare. It may or may not surprise you, that teachers feel it too. Having spent most of my life in schools as either student or teacher, where else could I go with this prompt?

First Day Jitters

“I feel sick.”

“My tummy feels all jumbly.”

“My head hurts.”

“I don’t want to go.”

“You’ll be okay once you’re there. Everyone feels the same on their first day at a new school.’

“But what if they don’t like me?”

“They will. Come on. You’ll feel better when you’re up.”

“But what if I mess up?”

“You won’t. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Relax. You can do this.”

Everyone was already seated when he entered the room. They smiled. “Good morning, Mr Clarke.”

He smiled back. “Good morning, children.”

She was right. He could do this.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt The ’49ers can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.

72 thoughts on “Anxiety — First Day Jitters #99WordStories

  1. Pingback: Anxiety Collection « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

    1. Norah Post author

      I wonder. I think that of those who suffer first day jitters, anxiety probably began long ago.
      I thought sharing the link was the best way of letting people know about the stories. I don’t know how many will click through. All I can do is make it available.

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  2. Marsha

    I love this! I knew it was going to be the teacher with the jitters. I used to dream I’d get to school and not have my clothes on or be dressed in shorts or something ridiculously in appropriate. I was always scared spitless prior to the first day. As soon as I got with the kids, everything fell into place and I was instantly in love with my new batch of children. Loved your story, Norah.

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          1. Marsha

            Have you ever run a pre-school? My neighbor mentioned off-hand about starting one here. There aren’t enough of them. With my admin experience and some experience at pre-k and k level teaching, I’m thinking it would be super fun to help her. I know where I’d go for some curriculum help!

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            1. Norah Post author

              Go for it! You’ll love it.
              In response to your question, would you like the long answer or the short answer?
              I ran classes for parents and children 2-5 years for a few years, similar to what we call a playgroup here but I ‘taught’ parents how to interact with their children, not to teach but, to help them learn. At the same time I looked after/ran sessions for children of the same age without their parents – a maximum of five (including my own). Those were the regulations for conducting sessions in my home. I also tried to establish an independent/alternative ‘school’ which we called COLO (Centre of Learning Opportunities) and the children’s program was to be called Kids First. Sadly we were blocked by Town Planning and one or two mean men which I won’t go into here as it is a long, boring and sad story. So yes, or not really, depending on your interpretation of preschool.

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              1. Marsha

                I’m sorry you had to deal with mean people in Town Planning. What a bummer. My mom, best friend and I ran a preschool in the 80s. I only taught, but it was simple and took place in our church. I made a humongous sum of $350 a month when it came in. LOL. I didn’t handle the money, though. I’ll let you know what happens.

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  3. Darlene

    I love this. Of course, the teacher has anxiety too. I used to tell the job seekers I taught, who had so much anxiety going for job interviews, that the interviewer would most likely be nervous as well.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Jules

    As children we don’t often see adults as having the same emotions. After all they are the ‘Big’ people. Somewhat of an odd feeling when we find out that we are all on the same playing field as it were – with emotions. I like your take. 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      There can be. Especially all those parent eyes in the first few days and weeks hoping that you’ll be good for their little one, but looking for cracks and ready to pounce.

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. Mabel Kwong

    Very well done with the point of view, Norah. Anyone can have anxiety or the jitters no matter how many times you may have done something. I feel like the point of view surprise you included matched Mr Clarke’s demeanour there – to his surprise he was able to start his class and be a teacher to his students as they expected. Hope you are doing well, Norah 🙂

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        1. Norah Post author

          It’s interesting you said a warm summer, Mabel. I guess they all are, but I thought this one was a bit milder than some. A few days hot and humid but mostly bearable.

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          1. Mabel Kwong

            Maybe Queensland is having a cooler summer compared to Melbourne. It’s beginning to cool down here though. We’ve had quite a few hot and humid days here too. I love hot and humid. That’s just me 😄

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  6. petespringerauthor

    I usually didn’t sleep that well the night before the first day of school. It wasn’t nervousness as much as excitement—the opportunity to help children.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Miriam Hurdle

    You’re right about anxiety in Parents and kids, Norah. I remember those crying kids in my kindergarten class on the first day of school. Sometimes it’s the parents who have the separation anxiety especially if their kids didn’t go to pre-school! Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Miriam. One of my schools always had a morning tea for mums on the first day. I’ve forgotten what they called it – tissues and something. The purpose was just to give mums a time to talk over their feelings with others experiencing the same thing, then move on with their day. I think now that many more children are going to pre-school and even childcare from a young age. It’s probably not as necessary at school any more.

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