Teach English in Maixin Zhen - Tongliao Shi

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Self Confidence Through Self Awareness Self confidence and self esteem are not the same. Self esteem is how a person feels about oneself, and confidence is how certain they are about that judgement. Many people associate confidence with success, due to anecdotes. Individuals report that when they feel confident about who they are and what they are doing it likely causes them to take creative action which tend towards positive outcomes. We may not understand exactly how self confidence works psychologically or biologically though through deconstructing the archetype of a confident, self aware teacher we can find the clues to create the program on how best to train it. A confident teacher is one who always appears cool, calm and collected. They smile without strain and have a soothing energy about them that puts the students to ease, feeling relaxed knowing their teacher cares about them and their learning experience. The way that they live their personal life outside the classroom is the preparation for how the students shall perceive them in the classroom. They exercise regularly, which keeps them sharp, focussed and positive around the students at all times. They enjoy reading about psychology, personality and learning which helps them better understand and communicate with the students. They love the process of learning and reward themselves for progress made, so it is easy for them to encourage others to try also. Personal criticism is always taken seriously, but never to heart. They take a genuine interest in the lives of the students that leaves them able to tailor the lessons to teach more effectively. They will set themselves tasks regularly to become a little better everyday. Not all teachers are born gifted with these traits, though they can be learned and developed by an individual who is determined to be a phenomenal teacher who is deeply passionate about the subject to be willing to put extra time into something that may be out of the job description but will benefit the students learning experience. What tools or processes could a new starting English teacher use to transform into a self confident teacher like the character previously described? These suggestions are based on the theory that developing self awareness is the key to attaining real self confidence which is not merely situational. Simply put, the more self awareness an individual attains, the more self confidence they possess also. In order to train this awareness the teacher must have a way to look at himself from a vantage point to be able to see what is hidden from his view, his self concept, perceptions and beliefs that control his behaviour so that he can begin to influence change. The first aspect is preparation. One wants to know the material they are teaching inside out and be able to speak for long periods on the spot without props and still be captivating. The second aspect is getting to see oneself akin to how they are seen by others through watching videos of yourself teaching previously, keeping an eye on gestures, expressions and body language. This can be done by taping classes with permission and making notes on what can be done better with help from a seasoned teacher. Along with this is to ask them for feedback on teaching and on the students engagement to ascertain where the teachers weak spots are to improve. The final aspect is religiously using a recorder as an audio diary regarding development in work, relationships, health, emotional stability and dreams for the future. After a while all of them will be done as habits without thought. It would also be of interest to keep a written diary that is reviewed every Sunday morning and used to schedule plans for what must be done for improvement. For example a teacher mentions a great tutorial on speaking that you wish to watch and copy with your own material to practice and prepare something for class. Other tools which are optional though really help to keep us focussed in the present moment is light cardiovascular exercise for twenty minutes a day or Vipassana meditation for twenty minutes. Whatever the teacher chooses, they should make a written or public announcement stating exactly what they will be doing over the course of a set period of time to become a more confident teacher, with a way of measuring the results. This ensures the person has ample motivation to help them through obstacles they may rather avoid on hard days. The last part of the program is called Self authoring and it can be written or spoken. The object is to answer a series of questions and revisiting the past to leave negative emotions that may still be holding one back, behind. The other side is to clarify a personal vision to pull you forward and fully illuminate the potential future consequences which come to be when the effort has not been made to realise the dream. For the person willing to put themselves through this process over and over again under the microscope. They will be amazed at how much can be developed through other areas of their life also. They will come to work, prepared and full of energy. Confident in their ability to speak directly and deal with any difficulties which may arise on the spot. This person has the self awareness to experience the emotions that make things hard and know how to detach and still get the job done with everyone else smiling. Their level of preparation becomes unparalleled as it bleeds into other areas of their life and may lead them towards new opportunities. When it is obvious that a teacher really has their stuff together they will become a person of influence. That is when they make the greatest impact on a student's life. Experience has brought several on those teachers to me and I consider myself extremely fortunate that it was done so. I would have never found the will to get through school, college and university without some exceptionally great confident teachers to help illuminate the way. Now it is the time to become that person and help shine the light for someone else.