Top Tips for Gaining Confidence as a Teacher
Learning a new skill can be difficult, and applying that skill can be even harder. Now teach that skill to someone else so they can adeptly apply it, and there might be people who become intimidated by such a task. However, teaching is a rewarding skill and there are several ways to improve a teacher’s confidence in the classroom. Although not an all-encompassing list, a few ways teachers can improve their confidence is through proper preparation, building rapport with students and self-reflection.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Courtney N. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
First of all, having proper preparation can be a huge key to teaching with confidence.
If a teacher is prepared to teach the lesson then the students will be able to learn and participate in the class. For example, one way to prepare is through a lesson plan. In the lesson plan, the teacher can chart out what topic is being covered and then break it down into specific study work and activities. Even listing how much allotted time each portion of the lesson needs will ensure proper time management. The lesson plan is a guide to stay on track while teaching, and it helps prevent any long pauses while the teacher tries to remember what is next. In turn, teachers will have more confidence in their lessons because they know exactly what to expect.
Although being prepared is important for the teacher, it also makes the teacher seem competent to the students and gives them faith in the teacher’s ability, and this is a step to building rapport. If teachers can develop good relationships with their students, it makes it easier to get them to engage in class because the teacher can adapt the lessons to their students' interests and needs. In doing so the lesson becomes relatable, and for teachers, having students that enjoy their class is a huge confidence booster because it shows the teacher is doing a good job. Some ways to build rapport with students can be through ice-breaker types games such as doing a questionnaire with the students or a pass-the-ball type of game where students, teachers included, ask a question, and pass the ball to someone else who then answers. These are just some of the many different ways to build rapport.
Analysis of the Work Done
Finally, even with lesson planning and engaging with students, it will not mean much if a teacher does not reflect on their teaching and try to improve. Teachers need to look back on their lessons and think about what went well and what did not go so well. If a teacher feels their explanation of a grammar point was not clear they can look at different resources and try to approach from a different angle. Teachers might find it hard to become confident in the classroom if they do not strive to improve their weak points and work on building confidence. That is why it is also important to get feedback from the students as well, maybe in the form of evaluation sheets at the end of a course.
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Overall, if teachers want to improve their confidence in teaching they need to put in the proper work. Lesson planning so they are prepared to teach, and with proper preparedness, they can engage with their students to build a strong relationship. Even after doing those things teachers need to reflect and improve. In the end, by combining these different things teachers should gain confidence in themselves.
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