The simple answer to that is yes to some extent but not as much as you may think. I remember when I first accepted my teaching contract I thought ‘gosh I’m not particularly loud and very confident how will I feel in front of a class of children’. But actually that was the easy part. Your class quickly becomes like a little family to you. Seeing them day in day out, getting to know all their unique personalities, it becomes the norm to stand up there in front of all those faces and deliver engaging lessons.
What about organising plays, leading class assemblies etc? These are perhaps more of the nerve wracking aspects to a new teacher and the areas of teaching we often forget about. We become so wrapped up on how to teach, how will my classroom look and what will my class think of me that we forget the other aspects of the school year.
Standing up on stage is something I haven’t had to do since high school so it’s okay to feel nervous or anxious that first time you’re back up there again with a microphone and in a professional role. We aren’t used to that environment and in some ways may feel like we are the ones being back at school again, doing something we don’t really feel comfortable doing but we know we have to. The best advice I can say for this is the more times you do it the easier it becomes. There are plenty of teachers that have lead assemblies for the first time etc and you would have never known they were nervous despite them saying so later on in the staff room on a one to one.
This leads me to my next point of ‘fake it till you make it’. Sally from Year 4 is not feeling very confident today in leading a PD session in front of all the primary department. However Sally delivers one of the best PD sessions this term. How? All because she put her nerves to the side and focused on what was the task in front of her. Of course those nerves were still there, but no one would have ever known. This is the case for a lot of situations where we inside feel like we are a nervous wreck in doing something but in reality, hardly anyone will notice that feeling on the outside.
So whilst yes we do have to be confident in things such as subject knowledge, classroom management, building relationships etc there are other things like leading an assembly, giving presentations to other members of staff that really only requires faking that confidence to still deliver to the best standard.
Realising you are not alone in this feeling is the first step to helping with your confidence. There will always be teachers within your school that feel the exact same way. Believing in yourself is key.
Can you relate as a teacher ? Let me know your thoughts x