If you ask me which is tougher, public speaking or being a teacher, I would say the latter. Though public speaking can make you vulnerable and more dependent on the audience that you get, being a teacher has an additional responsibility. You have the responsibility to make an effect on the lives of kids you deal with. It is okay if you make an audience sleep. But it is a crime if you make your students do it.
If you had learned in high school in Kerala during my time, you may remember this English chapter about a black teacher getting an assignment to teach a class of undisciplined kids and how he makes them come his way. Well, it was a portion from this autobiographical novel named, To Sir With Love by E R Braithwaite and I happened to read it last weekend. I think that, if you are a teacher, or if you want to be one, this book can be a manual for you. No pedagogy or teaching techniques can help you make that positive change in kids, unless the basic, your principles, are right.
Braithwaite comes to England after a stint in army, to find a job. His color makes him wait for 18 months without a job and then he lands up to teach in a notorious school. The novel deals with how he singlehandedly influences the life of kids assigned to him. At first he uses the standard approaches of psychology without success, and then he starts treating them as how they are and slowly breaks the ice.
The book deals with the subtle racism prevalent in every cultured society, where people behave as if they are Martin Luther King personified, but changes color when they have to accept an outsider among them. It seems that the book is made into a movie with Sidney Poitier in lead. Should be a must watch movie...