Rediscovering Confidence: Overcoming Student-Teacher Conflicts
Teachers are also human beings. Losing our temper in front of students can happen, but it's important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. I have lost my temper once at the very beginning of my teaching experience. It had been an embarrassing and regretful memory that negatively affected my teaching for quite a long time. I lost my confidence in managing the class and doubted if I could become a good teacher. However, as I love children and education, I have been trying to regain my confidence and be more professional.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author, an alumni of ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training). They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of ITTT. The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as official endorsement or representation by ITTT.
Here are some steps I have taken to rebuild my confidence and address the situation:
Reflection and acknowledgment come first. Take some time to reflect on what happened and acknowledge your emotions and reactions. Understand that losing your temper is a natural human response, but it's essential to recognize its impact on yourself and your students.
Once you recognize its negative impact on the learning environment, apologize and take responsibility. Some teachers find apologizing to students very challenging because it's hard for them to admit their mistakes. However, apologizing after making mistakes is also an important part of education for students. Apologize to your students for your behavior. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and take responsibility for your actions. Show genuine remorse and express your commitment to creating a positive and respectful classroom environment.
Once you have apologized, address the issue directly with your students. If your students are in lower grades, you may need to put more effort into explaining this step. Have a candid conversation about what happened, explaining why you lost your temper and how it was inappropriate. Emphasize that you are working on improving your behavior and that it was not their fault. It's essential to address that it was not their fault because some students could blame themselves for the unexpected atmosphere.
Use this situation as a learning opportunity for yourself and your students. After a few months, I realized I should be glad that it happened at the beginning of my teaching experience. It doesn't mean I am glad that it happened. I am glad that the mistake gave me a lot of lessons and self-reflection. It made me reflect on what triggered my loss of temper and think about strategies I can employ to manage my emotions better in the future. I also shared my insights and growth mindset with my students, showing them that mistakes can lead to personal growth and positive change. The students also did self-reflection and left letters on my desk.
You should also reach out to trusted colleagues or mentors to discuss your experience and seek their advice or guidance. I talked to our school principal, who has much more experience in the education field. I was disappointed in myself at that time, and I would not have been surprised if he had given me punishment. However, I wanted practical advice by talking with him about it rather than worrying about getting punishment. He told me stories about teachers losing their temper that he had seen for 14 years. He also gave me practical advice and educational materials that helped my classroom management skills. He also mentioned that taking care of my well-being during this time is essential. Therefore, I practiced self-care activities that helped me manage stress, such as exercising, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies I enjoy.
Regaining confidence involves rebuilding trust with your students. Consistently demonstrate patience, respect, and fairness in your interactions with them. Be consistent with your behavior and show them you are committed to maintaining a positive learning environment.
Make a conscious effort to emphasize positive interactions and moments in your classroom. Celebrate achievements, encourage participation, and provide constructive feedback. Focusing on positive aspects helps create a supportive and motivating environment for both you and your students.
Use this experience as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Attend workshops or training sessions on anger management, classroom management, or effective communication to enhance your skills as an educator. Continuously seek ways to improve your teaching practice and create a positive classroom climate.
Remember, regaining confidence takes time. It took several months for me to overcome. But by reflecting, apologizing, and taking proactive steps to address the situation, you can rebuild trust with your students and foster a positive learning environment. I used this experience to catalyze personal growth and continuous improvement in my teaching journey.
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