how I saved my teaching career part 5: facing fears

My latest guest post for the TimesOnline’s education blog, School Gate, went up today. It’s called Face Your Fears. I discuss the anxieties I needed to confront if I wanted to keep teaching without falling to pieces.

Please visit and comment if you can! I’d love to hear your own thoughts on how to overcome fear in the classroom, or in any career.

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2 responses

  1. My biggest fear as a teacher was to be wrong. I always found that encouraging my students to be OK with being wrong was OK, but I never wanted to be incorrect. Eventually, after a few mistakes, I found that it was actually a real benefit when I would do math problems wrong, or read the wrong word from time to time. Now, I’m often wrong on purpose to keep the students paying careful attention to their tasks, and to show them how to find and correct errors in their own work.

  2. I identify with this, Bob. Many of us are afraid of looking foolish.

    Last term my IB students had a special fondness for their math teacher. She was a very young and pretty Greek woman with a huge smile and an open, friendly demeanour. The students told me that one of the things they loved most about her was that when she did a problem on the board and got the right answer, she smiled hugely and applauded herself. I thought this was very telling. If you can congratulate yourself on getting it right, it shows that you have some concern that you might get it wrong, and students don’t expect this.

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