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Building up your confidence as a new teacher

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

As a student-teacher or a recent graduate, it isn't easy to gain confidence in the classroom. As a supervisor of student teachers, this is a topic I often discuss. During this past Saturday's New Teacher Bootcamp, the topic also arose. I wanted to talk about it with you. Let me begin by saying that this is an area in which most new teachers struggle. If you have been teaching and learning online for a few years, you might not have much experience teaching because of Covid.

Let's first reflect upon these questions. You can copy and paste these questions into a blank word doc and set a timer for 10 minutes and reflect.

  • Why are you not feeling confident?

  • Is there a specific topic/concept/class you are not optimistic about?

  • Are there areas in your teaching career that you are satisfied with?

  • Why are you satisfied in this area?

  • What prevents you from being confident in the classroom?

  • How do you overcome these obstacles to being more confident?

Know you are making an impact in your classroom and that you are a difference-maker. Some ways to help build your confidence as a recent graduate:

  • Use positive affirmations to start the day. Here are a few to get you started - You have classroom experience. You CAN do it. You are knowledgeable.

  • The way you talk to yourself is valuable. Talk to yourself the way you would a friend. Encourage and support yourself through positive self-talk.

  • Practice lessons content and delivery. Learn as much as you can about the topic or concept. Find information online to engage in your learning about the subject.

  • Be prepared - make sure that you prepare for your lesson. I know that sounds basic, but seriously make sure you're ready with content and strategy. Friends, don't hang out in the break room the period before your class making materials. You need to be prepared and show up for yourself and your students. Don't just wing it! By being prepared to teach, you can help build your confidence.

  • What strengths do you bring to the classroom? Every new teacher has a superpower - what's yours? How can you get that into the school? Think about your strength and superpower in the classroom. Own it! It's yours!

  • Think about where you spend your time and who you spend your time with. Try to stay away from negative talk and negative people.

Friends, there will always be a time when you will question your confidence no matter how long you've been in class. However, some strategies can help you support yourself. What are some methods that you use to build your confidence? Could you share them below?

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