Overcoming Stage Fright As A TEFL Teachers With These 5 Strategies18th October 2023
As TEFL teachers you are already aware that teaching is not always about fun and games. As much as you enjoy teaching and try to pretend otherwise, it is not a leisure activity that enthusiasts seek to enjoy. Moreover, teaching in a foreign land where you neither know the language nor the people can be a tricky job. And if you don’t end up doing well, students can sense apprehension from your movements and body posture. Thus, you need to be confident and stress-free while you enter the classroom.
However, it does not seem to be that easy does it?
Stage fright is something that can give rise to anxiety when you see a set of unfamiliar faces you have never seen before. Even with a lot of experience teachers sometimes feel lost and have no idea how to deal with it. While practice makes perfect, here are some other ways by which you can get rid of your stage fright.
5 Tips To Shed Stage Fright And Be A Confident Teacher
If you are struggling with performance anxiety, here are some ideas to try out before stepping into a class full of students:
1. Prepare Physically
This might not sound like a very effective tip, but being at the peak of your physical health can boost your mood significantly. You might have noticed that when you wear something you look in, it automatically improves your self-esteem and confidence. Thus, it goes without saying that when you are all set to enter your first class, dress to impress.
Also, make sure to have a good diet the night before and refrain from taking any anxiety-reducing drugs or tranquilizers. You might feel tempted to have a drink the night before but avoid it at all costs. And the same goes for coffee, even though it is known to relieve your stress, it can make you more nervous. Switch it up with chamomile tea instead.
2. Plan Your Lessons
Anxiety often arises from the fact that you are not prepared enough. Thus, make sure to plan your lessons thoroughly so that you do not miss out on anything. Make sure you have all your resources and activities planned. Review your material the night before and practice in front of the mirror to know if you need to change your teaching style or approach.
Also, before you begin to teach the class, check if all the technological equipment is working fine to avoid any glitches. Even after thorough preparation, if something goes wrong, just consider it as an accident, smile, and move on.
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3. Understand Your Triggers
As a language teacher, conveying the same basics of TEFL every time can lead to a sense of boredom and might also raise your blood pressure. However, while taking TEFL courses in Thailand, one thing that you have been taught repeatedly is patience. Patience is the key if you want to walk out of the classroom with sanity. Thus, it is essential to understand your triggers.
Do you feel the pressure when students ask you a lot of questions, or you are to cover for someone on short notice? When you get answers to these questions, you will know how to better prepare yourself and prevent your profession from draining your energy away.
4. Be Aware Of Your Teaching Persona
In the TEFL world, you have heard that your pedagogy should not be too teacher-centric, rather it should focus on the students. Since you are more than just educators, you have to play the role of facilitators and sometimes counselors. Thus, taking care of yourself is the first and foremost thing you should do.
Understand what works best for you and your class. Do your students feel engaged when you introduce audio-visual learning or, do they work best with activities? Once you understand your teaching persona you will love your craft.
5. Don’t Try Too Hard
As teachers, you will always want to put your best foot forward and try hard to keep your students interested. However, you need to remember that some things are just beyond your control. A technical glitch is not your fault, a chaotic, disruptive classroom is just a part of your teaching journey. You need to be a little kind to yourself and let things go.
Show yourself a little compassion and accept that not everything can always go the right way. Things are supposed to go wrong, lesson plans are supposed to fail, and your students are supposed to be chaotic. That's the beauty of being a teacher. It is all about trial and error, so don't be too hard on yourself if someday you do not get all the items on your to-do list checked. There will always be times when you can do better.
Enjoy Your Profession Minus The Fear
New beginnings and first time are exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. It is only normal to feel stage fright when you are entering a class in a whole different land. Thus, try the above-mentioned tips to make things work for you. In case you are not yet TEFL certified, try to pursue TEFL courses in Thailand. This will not only give you theoretical knowledge but also give a glimpse of what the real teaching world looks like through practice teaching.
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