Teaching and Education
How to be Less Nervous When Teaching
Of all the professions in the world, teaching is considered one of the most prestigious. With that being said, teaching comes with a lot of pressure too. As a teacher, you shape a generation through your work. So, there is supposed to be a lot of stress. And it can cause you to become vulnerable and nervous while teaching. But do not be worried about it.
For example, If you plan on building your career as a teacher, or if you are already a teacher and suffer from low confidence and anxiety, you have come to the right place.
This blog will discuss the reason behind feeling nervous and how to deal with nervousness and anxiety. In short, you will get to know “how to be less nervous when teaching” in this blog. Further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Content
What is stage fright? Classroom Stage fright?
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‘Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience.’- Wikipedia.
Every teacher experiences stage fright when speaking in front of a class. However, skilled teachers transform that anxiety into performance energy. If you face your fears, they will soon overpower your worries, and you’ll start to feel relaxed enough to enjoy teaching.
Stage fright among teachers may appear for many reasons, such as personality traits, lack of preparation, fear of running out of course materials, and fear of being unable to answer questions. Also, let’s not forget how stressful teaching can be.
Being able to stand in front of a classroom full of students of different mindsets and intelligence while delivering the lessons itself is a nerve-wracking experience. When the stage fright kicks in, anxiety gradually builds up and steals the joy of teaching.
These are a few symptoms of performance anxiety a teacher might experience- sweaty/cold hands, dry mouth and throat, vision blurriness, nausea, racing pulse and fast breathing.
How to fight anxiety while teaching?
Fighting with anxiety or curing it does not happen overnight. The process can take a lot of time and patience. You might have to change your habits or adopt new ones; you have to change your way of thinking and much more to deal with anxiety on a daily basis.
When you are finally strong and brave enough to deal with it, you will feel changes in your confidence and mental state. It will eventually result in better performance in the classroom.
Some may confuse fear with anxiety. The difference between these two is that “Anxiety is a generalized response to an unknown threat or internal conflict, whereas fear is focused on known external danger.”- NCBI. The good thing about anxiety is that it is curable.
You may follow some of the following to deal with anxiety-
- Meditation: “Some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as Anxiety”- (Mayoclinic). It can strengthen memory, learning, attention, and self-awareness-related brain regions. Additionally, the practice may reduce sympathetic nervous system activity. For example, mindfulness meditation can improve cognition, memory, and focus over time.
- Being Active: Being physically active makes your brain release feel-good hormones. Being active daily also helps with blood circulation to your brain, which helps with boosting physical and mental energy and relieving tension and stress.
- Eating healthy: Eating the right food with the right amount can help you deal with anxiety. Enriching your diet with green leafy vegetables, fruits, and highly nutritious food can help you cope with anxiety. Most importantly, you will start feeling better.
- Active Breathing: Throughout the day, we keep doing shallow breathing. But your brain starts working better when you sit down and take intentional deep breaths. “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.”- (Stress.org)
Writing Journal: Sometimes, writing down your thoughts can help you deal with stress. For example, writing your thoughts can help you organise your emotions, which later helps manage stress and anxiety.
Can an introvert become a teacher?
This may sound surprising to my fellow introverts, but yes, introverts can become teachers. In fact, introverts can become excellent teachers because introverts are considered to be exceptional at listening and observing. Also, most introverts are considered to be empaths.
And these are some of the best qualities of a teacher. But with being an introvert comes anxiety and nervousness. But there are ways of being confident and fighting anxiety while being an introvert.
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Introverts get their energy from staying away from people; it helps them get ahold of their thoughts and energy. It is best to spend some time alone before going into the class or interacting with anyone. Also, preparing yourself mentally the night before can help with stressful situations.
Most importantly, believing in yourself first is vital to becoming confident.
How do I stop being nervous while teaching?
As mentioned earlier, anything related to mental health takes a bit of time as it is a process. But once you keep yourself motivated to achieve a certain mental health goal, you will start seeing results. Likewise, building confidence and dealing with nervousness takes time.
So, even if you build confidence, it will not automatically make you less nervous and vice versa. So, it is better if you learn how to deal with both of them at the same time.
This may sound a lot right now, but everything will become easier when you eventually start cracking the codes of building confidence and reducing nervousness.
Talking in front of a mirror is by far one of the best ways to build confidence. When you become comfortable speaking in the mirror, chances are you will be confident to do that in front of your class as well. Also, keeping yourself neat is another way to build confidence.
You can use your favourite perfume. Sometimes, keeping your favourite things around you can boost your confidence.
Psychology says the reason for feeling confident when you keep your favourite things around you is that it makes you feel safe.
Moreover, being confident is a matter of constant try and practice. But if you ask what the fastest way to become confident is, the answer will probably be faking it- Fake it till you make it.
But let’s also remember that every great thing takes time. Creating a new habit, getting better at something, and replacing old habits- will always take time. But it is worth it.
And, there will definitely be a day when people will ask you about the secret behind your confidence; hopefully, you will have an inspiring answer.