3 Strategies That Will Help Young Teachers to Increase Their Confidence
A confident teacher would have a positive impact on his or her students’ achievement, attitude, effective and even socio-emotional growth (Wang, 2016). A teacher's confidence clearly influences a student's learning, thus it is necessary that a teacher develops confidence as he or she progresses in his or her career. Some teachers easily develop their confidence but some struggle to have it. In my 14 years of teaching, I have established the following principles in order to develop confidence, be it facing my students, dealing with their parents, communicating with my peers or even talking to my higher-ups.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rhea A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Work on Self-Awareness
The first very important factor to increase one’s confidence is self-awareness. This helps a teacher evaluate his or her strengths and weaknesses, and as such he or she will be able to improve his or her teaching strategies and impact the learning process.
To be fully self-aware, a teacher should know that confidence does not automatically spring from within. It has to be cultivated and it needs a lot of internal motivation. This also requires awareness of one’s internal dialogue, as there is a great probability that these thoughts will be carried into the classroom. If those positive subconscious thoughts are brought about every time one enters the classroom, the best relationship with the students will be developed as time progresses.
2. Believe in Yourself
The second factor that a teacher should do to increase confidence is to believe in his or her abilities. Entering the field of education is a challenging profession, and before one gets in, it requires a lot of professional knowledge. Knowing that should give a teacher confidence to enter the classroom, despite some intimidating students.
Speaking of intimidating students, sometimes, they could one of the sources of anxiety, but the teacher should not forget his or her qualifications. Moreover, being well-prepared when entering the class is also a good way to remove anxiety. Knowing the current lesson; proper classroom management (e.g. setting clear rules and regulations and strictly letting the students to follow them); entering the class with specific goals and objectives are very helpful tips a teacher can bear in mind to help distract himself or herself from intimidating students.
Some things could go unplanned as classes are conducted, as such, conflicts and troubles arise. As such, this becomes another source of distraction and could affect a teacher’s confidence. An example of this is when a student asks something very difficult, a question that is very hard for the teacher to answer. A good way to solve this is to admit that the teacher does not know the answer and make it homework so everyone can share their ideas in the following session. Due to this, criticisms are inevitable. As a matured and confident teacher, criticisms should not be feared, but otherwise welcomed and used as a tool to improve oneself.
3. Focus on Positive Things
Another very important thing about criticisms is that it can be used to build up or destroy confidence. To use it in a positive way, teachers can focus on the positive things, and also, pick up the positive things on their students, especially on the students’ behavior in the classroom. The teacher must be able to give positive feedback and make the whole class aware of what is going on, and what good things they have done. This motivates the class to do more.
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Above all, being professional in everything done in the classroom and in school is always the right thing to do. This makes the teacher a role model not only to students but also to colleagues.
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