5 Ways How Teachers Can Increase Their Confidence in the Classroom
I would say the hardest part about becoming a Teacher is having the confidence to face your students in the classroom. I speak from experience because this was a challenge for me in the beginning when I taught Spanish as a foreign language. My students were primary and high school students, essentially just kids, but this intimidated me the most about my job. In time you will indeed and should become more confident teaching in the classroom, as the saying goes…” practice makes perfect”, right? However, there are some things a new teacher can do or be aware of to help increase their confidence in the classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Genoveve C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Being prepared for your class is always a top priority. The more you prepare your lesson and think about what possible challenges may arise in the classroom, the better prepared you are to deal with them properly and positively. Your plan should have a clear goal to achieve by the end of the lesson and include a good balance of activities, relevant and interesting to your students. Knowing what you are going to do next will help avoid awkward moments in front of the students and will avoid internal panic attacks for you!
2. Mind your body language
Next, I advise being aware of your body language. This affects the way others see you and the way you see and feel about yourself. Even if you are not feeling confident, standing tall will give you an air of confidence and the students and other teachers will sense this. There are also certain poses that you should be aware of which give the opposite impression of confidence. These are, for example, slouching, crossing your arms or speaking too softly. These all make you look like you are scared and intimidated and if you teach high school students, they can pick up on this very quickly and take advantage of the situation to control the classroom! You should also be aware of your posture and correct it and practice good posture that sends out the message of confidence.
4. Set up clear rules
The third stop on my list is when it comes to classroom rules. Clear rules should be communicated to the students before beginning the lesson. In my experience teaching high school students Spanish, it was very common for a student to ask to go to the bathroom, or ask their classmates for a pencil or eraser, etc… My top rule was to get the students to ask in Spanish to go to the bathroom, to borrow a pencil or eraser, etc. During my Spanish class, English was not permitted (unless in special circumstances when explaining a grammar point for example). In the beginning, this was tough, but I anticipated what questions they would normally ask each other and I wrote them on the board in Spanish. The rule in my classroom was to speak only Spanish, even if at first it wasn’t grammatically correct, I wanted them to attempt and this was a great learning point for the students to increase their vocabulary and form sentences, making them more fluent.
5. Mind your language
Lastly, another important point to mention in maintaining confidence in the classroom is to never shout or say bad words. It is crucial to keep your temper under control and remain calm at all times! You can do this by taking a deep breath or simply stand back silently if the class is too noisy and the students refuse to quiet down to listen. Remaining silent rather than shouting above the students are very effective. Sooner or later the students will realize that you are just observing them and not fighting back to get their attention and they will eventually settle down.
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