All teachers have rough days. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it easy for a day or two then come back stronger! As a teacher, remember that your self-esteem and confidence can significantly impact the way you teach English. If you’re an English teacher who needs a great confidence booster, this article is for you! Here are some great online teaching tips to get rid of nervousness and build your teaching confidence.

1) Always Prepare and Plan

Preparation not only boosts your confidence, but it also improves the quality of your work. The first online teaching tip we recommend is ample preparation. This allows you to master a certain topic, making you feel composed and positive.

Students can not only spot a lack of confidence, but they can also be affected by it. Based on research by Dr. James Mbuva from National University in California, teachers also act as a model of self-esteem for students, as well as models of knowledge. To put it simply, your students will take cues from you. Planning helps ensure that you achieve and stick to the objectives of your lesson material

Maybe your lack of confidence as an online English teacher teaching ESL or EFL comes from the lack of familiarity with what the topic you’re about to cover. If you think this is the root of your problem, the practical solution is to go through the material in advance and take time to understand its purpose and learning objectives. This also gives you plenty of time to think of creative ways to teach the lesson and keep the learner engaged.

Finally, once you’re done reviewing your material and still have time left on your hands, you can also rehearse before you conduct your next lesson! 

2) Be Conscious of Your Body Language

Body language, such as your stance, gestures, and facial expressions, is vital in communication. Psychologists claim that 55 percent of information is gained through a speaker’s expression. 

Aside from your confidence, body language also impacts the overall atmosphere in your lesson. Positive body language helps your learners understand the topic better, become more engaged throughout the session, and build a connection with you.

Even when you don’t feel confident, the simple acts of holding your head high, smiling, sitting straight, and establishing eye contact with your student can significantly boost your self-esteem and confidence. However, avoid going overboard with these gestures as this can signal nervousness instead of confidence. 

Remember to speak in a firm, clear, and audible tone; look ahead confidently and don’t slouch. Being conscious and intentional in your actions will help you develop poise and composure naturally.

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3) Remember and Acknowledge How Far You’ve Come

This online teaching tip is so important because we all focus on our weaknesses more than we should! We all have flaws and weaknesses, but we have strengths too. Don’t beat yourself up about the things you couldn’t do; instead, focus on what you’re good at and what you’ve achieved so far. Remind yourself of both the small and big wins, and shift your focus to opportunities rather than problems. 

After celebrating how far you’ve come and giving yourself a pat on the back, the next thing to do is to face your weaknesses and work on them one by one. As the famous quote by Confucius goes, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Your progress, no matter how slow or small, counts! Keep persevering and you will eventually be surprised by how far you have come just by taking little steps!

List down the things you couldn’t do before, and then compare them with the things you’re now good at. Such progress, isn’t it?

4) Teach as Much as You Can

Experience is the best teacher and this couldn’t be truer for online English teachers! Teaching as much as you can exposes you to different kinds of students and situations, honing your ability to think on your feet and adapt quickly. The good times will give you your much-needed encouragement, while the bad times will shape your character and mold you into a dynamic, resilient, and confident teacher. 

For example, 51Talk’s online English teaching system requires its teachers to conduct a certain number of lessons before they can advance to the next teaching level. This ensures that they are fully prepared before teaching more learners. 

As you advance in your career as an educator, you will gain experience and meet people who will help you learn and improve your teaching. You will find this experience useful in tweaking your teaching style as you continue to refine your craft.

Remember that the more you teach, the more you learn! Continue teaching so that you can continue learning. 

Teaching with established TEFL/TESL platforms, undergoing training programs, and earning a TEFL/TESL certificate helps you to improve your skills.

5) Embrace Criticism

Feedback is always associated with criticism, so many are afraid of receiving and giving it. However, a study found that those who receive regular feedback feel more fulfilled in their jobs.

Now and then, remind yourself that feedback or criticism is not an attack on your personality. It is meant to help you improve your skills and abilities. If you choose to view it from a positive perspective and learn to respond to it properly, both positive and negative feedback will help you improve your performance. You can use the insights you receive from other people to work on areas where you struggle with or to keep up the good work. 

Whether it’s coming from your students, their parents, or your supervisors, don’t be afraid of negative feedback. Instead, listen to it attentively and use it as a tool to improve and become a more confident teacher. 

6) Take Your Time

Lastly, remember that confidence doesn’t come overnight, so be patient with yourself! 

Make an effort to keep your skills current, look for tips for teaching English online shared by reliable sources, and apply what you think works for you. You can also come up with other creative ways to make you feel more confident in delivering your lessons. However, don’t expect immediate results or you may end up frustrated; give yourself enough space and time to grow. 

Don’t rush yourself to succeed. At the end of the day, what’s important is that you make progress, no matter how small it may be.  

Be a Confident Role Model

As a teacher, you will be looked up to by your students as their role model. Your confidence boosts theirs as well! Because of this, remember that it’s not enough that you have an excellent command of the English language or a solid understanding of its grammar rules. To be an effective EFL teacher, you must also work on your confidence and let your students know they can depend on you! 

By following these online teaching tips, you’ll be sure to instill your confidence in your students. It may be a daunting task to overcome nervousness or shyness at first, but always remember to enjoy what you’re doing and your students will too!

💡 Did you find these tips useful? If you have any tips that have previously helped for you but are not mentioned here, why not help each other out! Please leave a comment in the box below 🙂