Standing in front of a new group is always in some ways nerve-wracking. But as a teacher you have no choice but finding a way to cope with that. Here are some tricks that have helped me a lot.
- Decide to like your students. To love them even. Sometimes it’s as simple as that decision you make in those very first minutes you meet them. They’re your pupils now. You’ll be with them for the year to come. There will be struggles and maybe in some groups things won’t turn out as expected, but that simple decision, that conscious act, may just make your year.
- Learn to laugh. You don’t have to accept everything but sometimes you simply have to admit their less polite remarks are funny. Why wouldn’t you laugh if you think it’s funny? Often a drop of humor can alleviate a tense or awkward situation. Besides, laughing makes you human. From time to time it’s good to remind your students that you’re human too. They’re inclined to think that your bed is somewhere beneath the desk and cannot even imagine you might have a life outside of school (hence the complete surprise when they discover you go to the same supermarket as they do).
- Be yourself. It may sound incredibly cliché, but it’s the best advice you’ll ever be given as a teacher. It can be daunting to compare yourself with colleagues. Don’t. There are as many teachings styles as there are teachers. Know that it’s a good thing for students to have different teachers, your unique way of handling course material might be exactly the way that’s perfect for them.