While students often worry about class or presentations, teaching can be intimidating, stressful or even frightening. For new or uncomfortable teachers, there are ways to improve your communication, classroom effectiveness and stress level when teaching. Overcoming fear of teaching is not about simply being tough. It is about preparation, confidence and effective communication skills. Instead of getting an ulcer over every lesson plan, learn and apply the skills you need to give your students the best education possible.
Prepare your lesson plans ahead of time. Review the assigned materials and make extensive notes about important points, themes or major ideas that you need to cover in class. Depending on your level of comfort, you can write out a script for yourself, consisting of the exact words you need to say. That way you can read from your notes if you get nervous. Plan exercises, quizzes or in-class work to give if you become uncomfortable or flustered during class.
Dress professionally and comfortably. Wearing something that you don't usually wear like a suit and tie or nice dress can help you overcome fear that you might have in your regular clothes. Wearing teacher clothes is like donning a suit of armor, giving you confidence.
Position yourself for success in the classroom. Use a podium, lectern or desk to stand behind and hold onto as you teach. This physical barrier provides comfort and hides shaky hands and unsteady feet. Give yourself a physical advantage and arrange desks so they are a good distance from where you lecture if possible.
Incorporate visual aids or technology like slide shows, video clips, handout or something to keep your students occupied while you lecture. These tools enhance your students' learning..
Open your classroom for discussion, listen to your students questions, problems or concerns and creating a peaceful environment. Once you focus on your students' learning, the fear will subside.
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