I don’t know about anyone else, but I find my confidence as a teacher peaks and troughs all too often. I heard it said somewhere that ‘you are only as a good as your last lesson’. Now I think about it, that sentence doesn’t seem grammatically correct, but I kind of agree with the sentiment.
I find losing confidence is linked to a number of things.
- Teaching a difficult class
- A lesson that goes wrong
- Lack of enthusiasm for teaching English
- Lack of enthusiasm from the students
Regaining confidence is not always easy, but the following things usually help.
Prepare a detailed lesson plan
You may not have prepared a step-by-step lesson plan for a long time, but it is a surefire way to create a successful lesson (depending on how you define ‘success). If you can achieve all of your steps you should be left feeling truly worthy!
Have your lessons observed
Ask a colleague to sit in on one of your lessons in order to give you some feedback. This might seem more nerve-racking at first, but they will surely find some positive things to say about your methods.
Observe a colleague
Sit in on a colleague’s lesson. The session can do two things for you: increase your confidence as you compare your style and theirs, and give you some tips on where you might be going wrong.
Increase your enthusiasm for teaching
How can you do this? Remind yourself of why you started teaching in the first place. Try out some new methods. Read a guide to TEFL and clarify your ideas on teaching.
In other words…
My final piece of advice would be to not expect too much of yourself. The real test of your teaching is more dependent on your students than yourself. Just be clear in what and why you are teaching.