Standing in front of the room, sweaty palms shaking, Theron realized his mistake. He actually thought that he could do this. He had signed up for this. Thought that teaching would be easier than actually flying the sorties himself.
Now he wasn’t so sure. He was safer, true, but safer wasn’t necessarily easier.
What began, in his mind anyway, as a fun experiment in self growth, development, and self preservation, now scared the life out of him as 22 sets of eyes looked back at him.
Had he been like that as a youngster? Open minded. Eager to learn. He could remember those times, remember thinking his instructors knew everything. There was no way he could live up to that.
Fleeing seemed to be the best option. Running away would be better than giving bad advice and causing one of these youngsters to lose their lives, but running away would be a waste. He had prepared material, lectures, and everything to go with them. He had field experience to accompany classroom theory. It was the pedagogy that he lacked. The ability to do the actual teaching.
Clammy hands slid over new khaki pants, smoothing out wrinkles that weren’t there. After several deep breaths, he was still there, and so were they. Attentive, expectant, and ready to learn, but for how long. The window was closing. He would lose them soon.
One more swipe over now damp khakis to stop the shaking, one final breath, and he opened his mouth to begin.