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Increasing Teachers’ Confidence in an ESL Setting

Increasing Teachers’ Confidence in an ESL Setting | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The worst feeling in the world is to stand in front of an audience only to be mocked, ridiculed and laughed at. This happens more so to students and less often to teachers. Sometimes it does happen and can have a long-lasting effect for the person on stage or our purposes in the classroom. If your sideline income is a clown purely for entertainment this may not bother you. As for the newly graduated and wide-eyed teacher, this can make or break them. Thankfully there are some tools and preparation for the teacher to gain enough confidence to stand in front of the classroom for the first time and make a syllabus blossom and bloom for their students in the forthcoming semester. Our is such a task. The present task is to illustrate the different methods, techniques, and tools a newly-hatched teacher can utilize to prepare themselves and therefore increase their confidence for the semester that lay ahead.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Eric S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

First meeting

The best technique I learned to initiate the first class of a semester is all around introductions. The teacher may begin to build confidence in this way by first introducing themselves and giving a brief background of their career, hobbies, and interests. It would be helpful too if the students did the same. The first-class sets the foundation for an entire semester so it is important for the teacher to build confidence in his or her students. Some of the things a teacher can do to do so make frequent eye contact and gestures. To look lively and enthusiastic so that his or her students will do well in the course. In doing so the teacher establishes good rapport with the students and the students will be more inclined to engage and participate. Another good point to make is to use the voice clearly and well projected to establish a position of authority. In doing all these things the teacher has a better chance of building confidence and initiating a successful career.

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Classroom management techniques

I will now shift gears and talk about the importance of classroom management. After all, we are not running a daycare and the worst feeling a teacher can have is not being able to control his or her students. A large part of managing a classroom is having the confidence to undertake the task and see to it that it remains orderly and well-balanced. The teacher must take a look at several factors to do so. Among these are looking at how many students he or she has and in what manner the classroom should be arranged. A good way of seating the students is by seating the more advanced students with the less advanced students. This is done purposefully if the teacher would like to do pair-work and in doing so the students can learn from each other. It is also suggested that the teacher maintain an arrangement that is conducive to the teacher being in control of the classroom. The manner of giving instructions is also of importance in classroom management and the building of confidence. When giving instructions the teacher should use clear and precise language that is easy to understand. He or she must also be consistent in the manner of giving instructions so it becomes somewhat of a cue for the readiness of the students. Checking the instructions of a given task a second time is also useful for creating order and establishing confidence for the teacher and students alike. As they say, confidence is contagious after all.

teacher by the whiteboard

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Lesson planning

I will now point out the use of lesson planning and the importance it entails when preparing for a semester. The importance of a syllabus is unquestionable and also required by some schools so that the semester carries out its ultimate purpose. In lesson planning, it is suggested that the teacher take the whole and divide it into parts by way of weeks and days. The teacher should plan what he or she expects the students to know by the end of the semester. In doing so the teacher can plan each week accordingly and set weekly goals and learning objectives for his or her students. The teacher should also maintain the schedule by keeping a working document as well as a record of lessons. In utilizing these tools the teacher can manage time, maintain order and boost confidence for creating a conducive learning environment.

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Additional materials

I will now move on to the use of visual and auditory tools in the classroom and the importance of being creative with these tools. Visual aids such as DVDs/CDs, videos, OHP, IWB, and cassette players are of vital importance as they become an interactive way for students to participate. Visual and auditory aids help the teacher to shift the attention of the students from the classroom setting to real-world situations and in doing so boosts their confidence in the language and culture. It is one thing to establish confidence and another thing to maintain it. The use of visual and auditory aids helps the teacher to keep the lesson interesting and fresh. In utilizing these tools the teacher will maintain a varied and organized lesson, therefore, boosting the confidence of the students and teacher alike.

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When students engage and participate it builds their confidence to use the newly acquired language in the real world. For that to happen it is imperative that the teacher first establish and maintain that confidence based on the key points outlined in this work. Confidence is having a good attitude, being enthusiastic toward the students and maintaining an orderly curriculum. In illustrating the tools and preparation necessary the newly-hatched teacher can now undergo a semester with confidence and initiate a happy and successful career in teaching English as a foreign language.

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