Shy person becoming a teacher

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Shy person becoming a teacher

Post by DBaccaro » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:31 am

I am a pretty shy person, but I am in a program to get my certificate to teach ESL. I just presented my very first lesson to my class and I have been a nervous wreck about it all week. My presentation went okay, but it didn't go exactly like I planned because I was nervous. I really don't like public speaking at all but I want to teach because I feel empathy for the ELL children. How do I get over my nerves? I don't want my shyness to hold me back from being the best teacher that I can be.

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Post by lip420 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:22 pm

That's normal I wouldn't worry about it. Most people don't like being watched. Practice will help you overcome it.

They say that the ESL teacher should really only be speaking about 20% of the time on average.

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Post by eslwendy » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:05 pm

As someone who witnessed your presentation and knows you're new to teaching, I thought you did a great job. Believe it or not, when you're with your students you'll be more relaxed than when you're up in front of a group of adults, and are being graded. Confidence will come with time, and no amount of methods and planning classes will completely prepare you. Each student you have will have a unique set of circumstances, and some trial and error will be involved in developing the best plan for them. You seem a caring person, and that will come through as you achieve the goal of doing whatever is necessary to help your students.

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Post by DBaccaro » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:34 am

Thank you for your feedback. It is very helpful for me to get another person's point of view. I need to have some patience and things should come easier to me once I get some practice. I think it will be a lot different teaching to children who really need me, rather than doing a pretend lesson to our class. But it was good practice for me, and everyone's feedback was very helpful. By the way Wendy, you did a great job! I really liked your visuals to help them understand fractions, and you are a very natural teacher.

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Post by halsto64 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:14 am

I think despite your shyness, you can be a great teacher. You already have ONE of the most important qualities:empathy/desire to educate students. Of course, there are other traits, but I don't believe an outgoing personality in front of a group of peers is one that will make or break you in a classroom of students. I am also incredibly shy, but something about being in front of a group of students makes something switch and shy is not a trait anywhere close to who I am. Of course, the first day of school shakes are present, but it will not stop you from being open and effective with your students. One principal once presented it as though you are putting on a show. Some days when I am not feeling well and my natural quiet self is peering through, I think it as putting on a show...and then those days actually become my more engaging, energetic days sometimes. I also think your natural shyness may become a tool. You'll have greater understanding of the students who are shy, quiet or introverted. We all know our classroom is full of unique personalities and learning styles; so you'll have an extra eye, ear and heart out to make sure all of your students are growing and being reached, not just the loud, brave, outgoing students.

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Post by Sally Olsen » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:55 pm

It is all in the words. Someone designated you as shy and you have picked up on the vocabulary. I had a lot of contemplative, careful, thoughtful, quiet, and reserved students who took their time to talk, to participate, to share, to co-operate and so on. But those words do not have a negative connotation to them and I encouraged them and others to cultivate those qualities when it was appropriate. I also encouraged them to participate in other ways as well so they wouldn't be afraid of public speaking if they were called on to do that or to contribute in a group or whatever skills they needed to function in the future.

My first lesson I was so scared my knees actually knocked together and I had to sit down. Lucikly I didn't get a dry mouth as I did later at a conference for a lot of people that first time. I drank the water they provided and it was OK. You may suffer symptoms of fear but you can find a way to overcome them and you will gain confidence.

It is not about you. It about what you are excited to share and learn with others. Like anything take it step by step. Don't be perfect.

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Post by sunflower03 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:43 am

I too am very shy, especially when presenting in front of adults and get the same nervous feelings as you, but this will pass once you have more experience in front of your peers and students. However, because I have very little experience presenting in front of adults, I fear presenting in front of them the most. Today, I could teach in front of 100 students and may get a little nervous at first, but I would be able to quickly relax and let go. I do not feel as if students judge me. I can tell my students are thirsty for knowledge and they want to have fun learning. My nervousness goes away as soon as they smile and laugh and are having fun learning the content. Throughout the years of teaching you will have forgotten all about your nervousness to teach them and truly enjoy teaching and being an inspiration to them.

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Post by DBaccaro » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:13 am

Thank you all for your encouraging posts. Just from hearing your feedback, I feel more confident about becoming a teacher. It is nice to hear that other teachers are shy or quiet too, but are able to overcome that and be effective teachers. Sally, I like how you think! I have all of the qualities that you listed, and it sounds much better when you say words like careful, thoughtful, and contemplative. Now I am going to try to stop with my worrying and trying to be the very best when I first start teaching!

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