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How teachers can increase their confidence in the classroom The first thing we can do when teaching in a foreign country is to arm ourselves with knowledge. Get to know some of the geography or history of the country in which you are teaching so you will be familiar with place names, historical figures or political leaders. Learning about the culture is also important to avoid embarrassing yourself or students. Many Asian cultures have completely opposite ways of doing things than their Western counterparts. In addition, the perspectives of the students could be completely different than those of native english speakers. These differences can show up in seemingly insignificant ways. For example, in thailand an orange is green; a lime is a lemon; and you should never use a red pen to write your students? names! Making yourself aware of things like this by observing other lessons, asking questions to teachers you work with and doing independent research on the net will increase confidence just through trust in yourself to not mess up in the first couple of weeks with a new class, there is nothing worse than having a classroom full of students talking and laughing at your mistakes in a language you don?t know a single word. One of the easiest ways to overcome shyness is to feel good about yourself in the early days of teaching is; the way you dress, the way you speak, organisation and planning. Simple things like ensuring you arrive to work early and keep a professional appearance will make you feel better about yourself and make others give you respect. Showing that you have a plan for each lesson should something go wrong, you have anticipated solutions and also that you have all the assets you need to carry out a successful lesson. Mahatma Gandhi said, ?No matter how insignificant the thing you have to do, do it as well as you can, give as much of your care and attention as you would give to the thing you regard as most important.? Once the very first lesson has been completed teaching will become more natural and much more relaxing and easy as a teachers confidence grows. Successful lesson after successful lesson will encourage this but in order to have lessons go to plan everyday it will require a lot of preparation and teachers need to understand this. They also need to try not to be so serious so that in the event something doesn?t go to plan they can laugh it off, adapt and change course within the lesson rather than panicking and being put off and as, if not more nervous the next day. Teaching should be fun and the teacher should enjoy it in a way that students can see they are and so they can mirror that enjoyment in their learning. Confidence in the classroom will come with experience and you will find as you get to know a class and they get to know and like you they will tell you more about their culture themselves and it won?t matter so much if you get a few little things wrong because you will have established that all important rapport we?ve talked about throughout the course and be able to laugh at yourself as the students? will. In building your confidence as a teacher, it is important to understand that the confidence you earn is a result of your affect. A teacher?s management of the classroom, method of teaching, pride in their profession and respect for the individuals in the class are some of the important elements in the equation of building a teacher?s confidence. If respect and care in a structure for the course and the students is carried out, than the students will have a strong desire to learn, which in return, give self-assurance in a profession as a teacher. References: ? Edmond, J. (2011). 6 Ways to Overcome Shyness and Gain Confidence.Available: www.ESLteachersboard.com. Last accessed 9th January 2012. ? Ritchie, B. (2009). Use These Warm-up Strategies to Give You Confidence in Your Public Speaking. Available: www.eslteachersboard.com. Last accessed 9th January 2012. ? Gardiner, S. (2009). How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem. Available: www.eslteachersboard.com. Last accessed 9th January 2012. ? www.teflonline.net