With the world of work and teaching ever changing, one thing that hasn’t changed is teaching anxiety. Whether the lesson/workshop is in person or online, the fear captures you all the same. You enter the lesson or join a zoom call, everyone is there and eyes are on you and you freeze! This is all too familiar with new teachers and assessors. So how can you gain teaching confidence? In our blog we’re going to give you some tips that can apply to anyone doing Education and Training, Teaching and Assessing.
It may sound simple but the key to start gaining teaching confidence in Education and Training or Assessing is time and practice. This is like most things, the more you work on it the better you become. You want to get your introduction to the lesson right? Run through it a few times, either by yourself or get a family member, friend or significant other to listen to you while you do it. Now gaining confidence doesn’t happen over night, it’s something you’ve got to work on. Some days will be more successful than others, but try not to let that get you done! Think of it as a learning curve.
So how can you gain confidence without the use of a classroom or zoom call? Well we’ve got some tips here for you! Both for the classroom and over zoom.
Smile, be friendly and approachable
You can certainly do this both in the classroom and over a zoom call. A smile is free and it makes you more approachable to your students, who might also be nervous. You’re more than likely going to be feeling the same. The students will appreciate a warm welcome.
Wear something comfortable
This could be a form of lucky clothing, we know you have some lucky socks! Anything that makes you feel comfortable, clothing that makes you feel comfortable might give you more confidence! It may be something for you to think about, there’s no harm in trying. Especially if you’re on a zoom call the learners might not be able to see it, which would give you a sense of comfort, knowing that it’s there but only you can see it.
Use notes or prompt cards
Don’t be afraid to use notes or prompts cards. Many public speakers use prompt cards, so use them if you’re stuck. You can even have notes on your PowerPoint presentation that you can look at during the lesson. You won’t be criticised for using them, we all need prompts now and then!
Plan your lesson
Planning your lesson is one of the best ways to be prepared. You can dedicate some time to writing clear lesson plans. Which has aims and objectives for what you want to achieve during the lesson. Adding in activities is also a good way to engage your students. It’s okay if things don’t go exactly as planned. You can always include extra activities in your plan for this reason, so you’re not trying to think on the spot on the day.
Even on a zoom call arriving early is another good way of being prepared! You can check if things are working correctly and if not then you can fix it and still have time to get back into the call before your learners come in. This is especially good when we’re back in learning environments, as you can check that things are set up or you can check your resources and fix anything that isn’t there.
We mentioned this up above, but practicing it in front of a mirror or teaching a small part of it to friends, family or significant others is such a great way to gain the confidence, as they are people you know and are comfortable with, they can also give you feedback as to what was good and what wasn’t to help you. As you are comfortable with them it will make it a lot more easier for you to do.
Take small steps
Rome wasn’t built in a day, these things take time. Try to be positive and think to yourself that everything is a learning experience. It may seem frustrating for now if things don’t go right straight away, but you have to work through it. It will all come together.
Establish a good relationship with learners
This is a great way to get you to feel more comfortable and confident. Establishing a good rapport with your learners is something you can do from the very start of the lesson. If you have a sense of humour, use it. It will break the ice between you and the learners. Making things more comfortable and they’ll more than likely be open to you. It also helps with trust, as they will trust you more in the classroom.
Tone of voice
Along with establishing a good relationship with your learners, working on your tone of voice and posture is a good way to feel more comfortable. Taking deep breaths in and out when you start to feel a bit nervous and you will definitely notice a difference. If your mind if relaxed so will your body. If you’re tense or nervous, the room will feel it too. We react to what’s in front of us so the learners will be more tense too.
It’s okay to say no to things. No one expects you to be available every moment of every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either, especially in the classroom environment, this will really help you with your confidence, if there’s someone there can give you a bit of advice.
Confidence doesn’t happen over night or in a single achievement. It’s a long process that you may need to work on throughout your career. It improves from learning from your mistakes but also your strengths. Every teacher is different, depending on sector and who you are as a person. Things might not work out for you and that’s okay it’s about the learning process. When it comes to Education and Training (AET) you will find what works for you and to improve on that. You could also look at our other blog post about things to know before taking your AET if this is something that you want to invest your time in!
If you have any question about the AET in general please give our team a call on 01205 805 155 and we will be happy to help.