Teach English in Lingcheng Zhen - Xuzhou Shi

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The profession of teaching is not an easy one. In addition to the content knowledge, a teacher must have the confidence to deliver this content. Many teachers have a wide range of knowledge of the subject matter, yet they are having a hard time in their career. This is due to lack of confidence. Thus, how can teachers build their confidence? The answer to this question is not an easy one, or it is easy on paper, but not so much in real life. We, all, have been students in the early stages of our lives, and have experienced many teachers during our learning journey. We have seen the teacher who we all love, the teacher who we all fear, and the teacher who we feel sorry for. The latter can be spotted by the untrained eyes of any student as he/she has many signs and indicators: avoiding eye contact, weak body language, inadequate voice tone and unpreparedness. First of all, let’s begin with avoiding eye contact. Since the eyes are a powerful tool, individuals use it to send unspoken messages. In this sense, a teacher should never avoid eye contact with his students. The eyes send waves of confidence and self-assertive attitude needed for the teacher to gain respect and maintain discipline in his or her class. Eye contact boosts confidence not only for the speaker, but also the listener. However, too much eye contact in not a good thing either; it may intimidate the students and shake their confidence. So, a moderate eye contact lock with the students can show them how confident the teacher is and will establish a safe space with them. Another important factor in building teacher’s confidence is having a strong body language. This means working on body posture and gestures. We all know that body language affects how people see others. Imagine a comparison between two people standing and walking next to each other. One is walking tall with steady pace and assertive gestures, whereas the other has his shoulders down and cowering away with hesitant feet. Who do you think is confident and who is not? Thus, walking tall and assertive meaningful gestures can convey confidence to others, and that is another point a teacher must consider. In addition, the voice of a teacher is very important tool in their classroom. Through voice they can convey enthusiasm, positive energy, confidence, assurance, warmth, calmness, clarity or lack thereof. A teacher can appear confident and have all or some of the good qualities mentioned above and affect his students by simply changing his voice tone. He can make clear instruction, he can calm a nervous student, he can make them excited and pro-active, and he can make them relaxed. Or on the other hand, he can make them lose interest if he has a low voice which will make him nervous, and make them scared if he shouts which indicates lack of confidence when dealing with hard situations. Thus, a teacher must learn how to control his voice if he wants to be confident in his classroom. Furthermore, if a teacher wants to be confident, he has to be prepared. It is a given, foreseeing problems and contemplating solutions can relax teachers and allows a little bit of flexibility between teachers and students when facing behavioral situations. When a teacher learns all the usual problems in dealing with students, he would not be scattered minded and lost when facing one. The same goes for preparing the content of a lesson, as the teacher should not build a rigid linear structure of a lesson: he should allow a little bit of flexibility to to improvise should he need to change something amid class or an obstacle arises. To conclude, having a moderate eye contact with the students, having a strong body language, having control over the voice tone and being prepared can build and boost the confidence of a teacher in classroom. While this can take time to apply, it is not an issue if a teacher seeks help from other experienced teacher; we all only humans and this life is a journey, so do not walk alone.