Factors Influencing Teacher’s Confidence
Walking into a classroom for the first time can be an intimidating experience! It can be even more intimidating if the teacher has moved to another country to teach English, as communication can be quite a challenge. Also, the teacher is often in an unfamiliar environment and dealing with cultural differences.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Janet K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Good Personal Skills
So what makes a good teacher? Well, personality-wise, a kind and patient person who loves teaching and has a lively and entertaining personality would be an ideal candidate. Of course, a good knowledge of the subject and an ability to create a good rapport with the students is also helpful. Finally, of utmost importance, is someone who cares most about the student’s learning.
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Development and Experience
However, even with all of these tributes, having confidence in the classroom doesn’t automatically happen. Confidence mainly comes from experience and preparation. Experience cannot be taught but knowledge of how to plan and prepare lessons can make a huge difference to the teacher's confidence and how the students participate in the lesson.
By taking the TEFL or TESOL courses, teachers can learn how to make and carry out lessons plans that will give them structure in the lesson, ensure that they have all the materials they need and give them an adaptable guideline to follow. Having the knowledge that everything is planned and prepared can go a long way in increasing a teacher’s confidence.
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Understanding the Teaching Routine
First of all, by using the planning ideas in the TEFL course, we can see how the to engage stage of a lesson is very important in eliciting the student’s interest in what is being taught. By using pictures or other materials we can get the students to start thinking about the topic of the lesson. The start of the lesson is extremely important in setting the atmosphere for the whole lesson.
Next, during the study stage, the teacher needs knowledge to confidently explain the key points that the students have to study. In order to do this, the teacher should have a good understanding of any grammar that is being taught and if necessary review the contents of the lesson in advance. Anticipating potential questions is useful too, as the students will expect the teacher to be able to explain any parts that they don’t understand. Also, by planning the lesson thoroughly, the teacher should know how many worksheets or other materials are necessary.
In the final activate stage of the lesson, correct preparation of materials is important to save time so that the lesson continues smoothly. A solid lesson plan gives teachers the security of knowing how they are going to continue the lesson right to the end, which in turn gives them confidence in the classroom.
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In addition, by knowing what equipment is going to be used during the lesson, teachers can check how to use it and set it up in advance. A CD player that isn’t working properly or an overhead projector that takes 5 minutes to set up can waste time during the lesson and doesn’t give a good impression of the teacher.
Finally, in my experience, knowing the students by name makes it easier to build rapport and gives confidence to a teacher. If there are many students in the class the students can wear name badges or the teacher can use a seating plan with the names written in large letters so that he or she can call on the students individually by name. Of course, different cultures have different ways of calling people by name so you may have to check about this depending on the country.
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Overall, I think that confidence in the classroom depends on the personality and experience of the teacher, but with good preparation, every teacher can walk into the classroom with confidence and both the students and teachers can enjoy the lesson.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad!
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