Student Teaching Anxiety

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Courtney Davis, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Courtney Davis

    Courtney Davis New Member

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    Jul 14, 2016

    Hi All! Sorry if this is not allowed, but I figured no better place to learn about teaching than from other teachers!

    I am about to start my Student Teaching experience in August. I am terrified for many reasons, but mainly because I get such stage fright in the classroom. I have so many ideas, but when I get up in front of the room I tend to freeze up and get stoic. I know this sounds a bit weird, but I fear the student's opinions of me at times, and I of course do not want to make mistakes in front of my mentor teacher, so I end up looking lifeless. I love teaching, I love the students, and I love coming up with new ideas to portray the material. So, I don't want my stage fright to make it appear as if I should not be a teacher.

    Did anyone else struggle with this? How did you conquer it if you did? Thanks so much for the help !
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2016

    Accept that it's a part of the job. You will mess up, make mistakes and look like a complete idiot in front of the kids at times. Fact. You just hope that they're respectful and don't completely destroy your self worth (but if they do, you have bigger problems) and just fix yourself and move on. Work with your mentor teacher on management, planning and work your a$$ off! I was student teaching sixth grade and it was very student driven and hands-on, a student asked me a question and I turned it back on him and he said, "Aren't you supposed to be a teacher? Do you know ANYTHING?" o_O And I've had them say, out loud, "You're JUST a student teacher." Did I run to the bathroom and cry? Nope. Because they're, what, 11? 12? And I'm more emotionally mature than they are. I would say a lot of times student teachers fail because they're VERY emotional and not fully mature enough to handle the kids. They let the slightest thing set them off or they're afraid to make mistakes. There's this facade that you're supposed to be "perfect" as a student -teacher. PFF! You're a student. You're there to learn. Make mistakes and learn. And be open to reflection and criticism. Your teacher will meet with you and tell you what you did and how you can be better. I've seen a lot of my classmates be so close- minded and resentful of that. Guess where they are? Sure as hell NOT in a classroom! Teaching is more than "loving the students," you have to be tough and have a thick skin. You have to say, "Yeah I'm nervous," but stand up there anyway, command the class, and fake it until you make it. In my edTPA video, they told us to find the "perfect" footage... I selected a scene where a student's tooth fell out and they could see me handling it. Why? Because it's REAL LIFE! I got a mastery score and did the BEST out of my graduating cohort.

    Good luck.

    :handwaving::handwaving:
     
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  4. Courtney Davis

    Courtney Davis New Member

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    Jul 14, 2016


    Thank you so much for that! You described EXACTLY what I am feeling right now, and my professor always says to fake it until you make it! I completely understand that teaching is WAY more than loving the students, and that is why I am going to put everything I have into this experience. Thank you so much for your help!!
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2016

    Courtney,
    Welcome to A to Z. I can understand having anxiety about student teaching. Being in front of a class takes practice, and student teaching is where you get that practice.

    The nicest thing is that, at the beginning, you will be watching and observing your mentor teacher/cooperating teacher teach. You will see her/him make mistakes, and survive. That alone helps more than anything.

    I hope all goes well for you, and we are glad you are here at A to Z.

    -Rain
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2016

    Soak up and milk the experience while you can because before you know it, you'll be out there (in an over saturated market) competing for jobs that, in many cases, don't exist! It's frustrating but THAT'S when you should be nervous about people's opinion: when you're interviewing and trying to land your first job.
    ;)

    To be successful in student teaching is NOT rocket science. You simply show up ON TIME (or early, like I did), be flexible and throw yourself, willingly, into every opportunity. There were days that the teacher couldn't show up so the P asked if I'd like to sub or for them to get a sub. The first day we got a sub and then I simply said, "I can handle it." I knew the procedures and the kids and just ran with it. If the teacher asks you to do something -- YOU DO IT! If it means staying late to make copies or what have you, DO IT! Some of my classmates thought that they were "better" or beyond those trivial tasks, but guess what, you're NOBODY on the totem pole. And at some point, you will have to do those tasks so you better learn now. As long as you don't show up hung -over and act like a completely unprofessional nitwit to the kids or colleagues, you should be fine. If you mess up in a lesson or management, that's why they're there to help.

    But even that's not a deal - breaker because I've known people put on an "improvement plan" in student - teaching and still graduated. So... there ya go.
    :)
     
  7. AnonSki

    AnonSki New Member

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    Jul 14, 2016

    What grade are you student teaching in? In the younger grades, I have found teaching requires quite a bit of acting. Even my student teacher supervisor said this. Do what feels natural to you. If you worry so much about not making a mistake, you will have that on your mind and freeze up. I was very nervous to meet my co-op teacher and students. The teacher will gradually give you more and more responsibility. For example, for one week you might just teach LAL, the next week you'll have 2 subjects to teach etc. At a certain point, you will teach all day and feel very comfortable by then. You will know the students and the teacher.

    Go in their confident. You will start the year with the kids which I experienced last year. They will view you as "a teacher" or the "teacher's helper." I don't even think my students understood what a student teacher was. I am positive they will give you the respect you deserve. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions! Student teaching is so exciting; yet overwhelming at first!
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2016

    I agree with this advice. One of the first things you want to discuss with your mentor teacher is your problem with stage fright and ask for help appearing more than "lifeless" in front of the class. This will give your mentor a heads up that you are willing to work on what you consider one of your major problems.

    Always remember that these are children...they have no filters on their mouths...
     
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2016

    HAHA like when a second graders says, "I have to go number three." And whispers, "That's a number one and two at the same time."
    :rofl:
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2016

    I will say the same thing... except I had subbed so I was pretty ready for front of the class. I was still nervous though because someone would be watching... when I subbed someone wasn't right there. The kids didn't make me nervous it was the adult. Lol. I did make a mistake... corrected it & moved on.

    Hint make sure at beginning when you are learning say there names and if you can't remember ask them to say and you repeat it. I ST in K class so I stood by there lockers to help put stuff away in the morning and would say Good morning Susie... even if I had to use their name tags at first it was another way for me to get their names. I did this for the first couple days.

    As I am sure you heard no question is silly (or stupid) so ask them. I know I got to another teacher beside my mentor and she was a big help too!
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2016

    I've observed some student teachers. Some had the management down but not the material; others, vice versa. Get to know your subject and curriculum! Students will respect you more.
     
  12. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2016

    I just finished student teaching in December.
    Spend some time getting to know your mentor teacher. Carefully observe them. This will set the tone for your experience. My mentor was amazing and really went out of her way to make me feel welcome and like the teacher. Others in my cohort did not have that experience and instead of trying to follow their mentors lead they tried to have two separate classroom environments. It doesn't work. Good luck.
     

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