Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in BAotoushizhuAngbei Zhizao Chanye Yuanqu? Are you interested in teaching English in Baotou Shi? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.
I chose this title since I did not have self-confidence when I started to work as an English teacher. Lack of confidence is quite common in new ESL/EFL teachers, but I fought against it and struggled hard. Now I have enough experience after 5 years of teaching English with great self-confidence. So here are some tips that I have followed them to boost my confidence. • I considered my strengths I took a good hard look at myself. At first, I asked myself some questions. What abilities do I have? What can I do better than most? Do I know English grammar and vocabulary well? I knew that every teacher has strengths that they bring to class and weaker areas to work on, but I had to boost my confidence. So I made a list including strength and weakness points of myself. Then I asked my husband to add some more points on my list. For example one of my weakness points is that I am naturally a quiet person, so I practiced projecting my voice by filming my lesson for a real objective lens. Whilst it was uncomfortable at first, it helped me to overcome negative self-perceptions and recognise my strengths in the classroom. After working on my weakness points, I focused on strength points like those things that make me unique as a teacher, whether they are personality traits like being a patient person or knowledge I have gained through the years. Finally, by using my strength points on my teaching I build a sense of self-worth and belief, which ultimately leads to confidence. • I looked for evidence that I am awesome I looked back at the achievements that made me proud like my master's degree in industrial engineering and the different certifications that I have gained in English. No matter how small they might seem, they increase my self-confidence and made me the teacher I am today. Thinking about them causes a strong sense of self-confidence in me because I am that person who got those degrees so I can be a good teacher with high self-confidence. • I cheer up myself Every time before a new class I say to myself, “Tomorrow I have a new group and my class will rock!” After finishing a class I say, “I am a good teacher!” These two sentences have such a deep impact on me that I feel more confident after the end of each class so I always repeat them. • I am prepared I have always tried to know what I am getting myself into. Things that can make me appear more confident than anything else always take time to prepare. I have thought about the lessons ahead and worked through the potentially difficult situations that could arise and how I might deal with them. I have never skimped on the preparation time, also I have never written a prescriptive plan, I have always tried to write my lesson plan in flexibility. Preparation will not guarantee success but lack of preparation makes it much less likely. • I use criticism as a tool to change By acting on criticisms instead of ignoring them, I could turn negative points into positive ones. It helps me not only to build confidence but also to improve my practice. I am willing to listen to others’ ideas, especially my students’. I consider them and use their feedback to improve my practice. Being a responsive teacher takes time and it needs to learn from what others say because I know that nobody is perfect. • I avoid focusing on negative teachers When I noticed that some teachers around me are always nagging, I changed my situation. Negative teachers always complain about everything and they always make the situation negative, being in a relationship with them not only does help me, but it gives me a bad feeling. I look for those teachers who are trying to be and are positive about their job. Moreover, I find my students as the most positive outlook for my career. • I teach as much as I can I think one of the best ways to boost teachers’ confidence is teaching, and teaching and teaching more. The more I teach, the more confident I will feel. Teaching is like a journey that will provide me with many opportunities to learn since I have to be open and willing to take them. I strive to improve my teaching every day, even when I am in the classroom. Experience does a miracle for every teachers’ confidence. • I try to slow down and breathe when I get a feeling of rising panic. Sometimes, I lose control of the lesson. The best thing I do in these situations is to take a step back, slow down, take a few deep breaths and relax. In this situation, if my mind goes blank, I always have a copy of my lesson plan to hand which will act as a handy prop. When I am more relaxed, I try to regain control of the lesson calmly and authoritatively. It is always great when someone else gives us a pat on the back and an instant confidence boost, but we as English teachers cannot depend on others to keep us feel confident. We are responsible for developing and nurturing our self-confidence. I have always wanted to be a teacher who cares about my students and cares about becoming a better teacher. It does not happen just with the help of trying hard to have enough knowledge and confidence. Trying these tips can help every teacher act confidently and they will feel it.