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Nervousness about teaching

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Laura_123, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Does it ever go away?
    I sit up at night not sleeping and feeling sick and usually end up throwing up :( i really dont want the rest of my life to be like this!!

  2. Can you pinpoint what it is that is stressing you?
    Is it a difficult class/mentor/school?
    Is it the pressure of the course/teaching?
    Is it because you are being observed? You might feel more relaxed on your own.
    Is it the worry of finding a job/having an interview?
    Is there anyone you can speak to about it? You could have some CBT to overcome nervousness.
  3. It does go away. I struggled with nerves on the first placement, I was really stressed out about the thought of putting up with these nerves all the way through my teaching career. Pinpoint what makes you nervous, but remember that soon enough they'll be pushed to the back of your mind. I never thought I'd teach a lesson without holding onto my lesson plan as if it was a safety blanket, but one day I just did it.
    You'll get through it, talk to people and talk to your mentor if it's really bothering you. Don't suffer it alone.
  4. I'm a very anxious person and spent a large portion of my life feeling and actively being sick with nerves about various things. I can offer some generic tips which might help but I'm not a teacher (yet) and I'm not nervous about it so make of it what you will.

    - Plan everything. Make lists and timeframes and resources and make sure you feel like you're fully equipped each and every time you step into the classroom. Don't fret about about what might go wrong, just plan what's going to happen and be satisfied that it will happen. Even if things end up not going according to plan, you'll be forced to deal with that in the moment so there'll be no time for you to dwell on it and get nervous. Which brings me to point two:

    - Try not to spend too much time waiting. Whether it's waiting for a lesson to start or waiting to get started on your marking or even waiting for the bus in the morning. Waiting is absolute murder for your nerves and it'll just give you room to humour your (probably baseless) worries. Try to keep busy doing things that keep your mind ticking over - in my humble opinion chatting over a cup of tea with colleagues would be the best thing to do but any activity should do the trick. Try to plan your day so that you're forced to jump headlong into teaching without time to dwell on it and build up nerves - if you're fully planned you shouldn't struggle.

    - If you feel sick in the mornings before school, try to keep to a comfortable and easily attainable routine, but make sure it includes doing stuff you enjoy. Give yourself ten minutes to read the paper so you don't feel like you're straight up from a restless night and straight out the door.

    - Have a few go-to thoughts or memories on hand to help banish those middle of the night worries. When you wake up at 3am and your mind is stuck in worry mode, all it really wants is something to focus on. Try to think about something unrelated to your day to day life, or at least something pleasant about life - an outfit you want to buy, a place you want to visit - and train yourself to think about it in depth so that teaching worries can take a back seat for a change.

    - Finally, try to remember how you felt about the teachers when you were in school. You may have disliked them or even thought they were useless, but you never really considered them or their life in any detail. None of the kids know you were up all night sick with worry about the thought of facing them. Even if you *** up a lesson they won't suspect this. They expect you to be in charge and know your subject and, as long as you're the one at the front of the class, this perception is unlikely to change. You really can't go wrong.

    I hope this helps. I know it's a bit rambling and involved but I've struggled with nervousness and sickness my whole life and only recently have I been able to get a grip on myself. Good luck!
  5. Yes, and it depends where you are.

    When I was training on one of my placements I was like that, it simply was not the right place for me to be- the mentor was a chocolate teapot and I had a lot going on.

    But as other people have said you need to work out why you are feeling like this. What is the worst that could happen? (and I'll let you in on a secret.. even teachers who have been doing it for 30 odd years get nervous with new classes/observed lessons) You just have to channel the nerves.
  6. I am a very nervous and anxious person and when i was in college i was in hospital with stomach ulcers through stress.

    My last placement was a nightmare to be honest my teacher and mentor were horrible my uni tutor was useless i was put through 6 weeks of bullying..every lesson i did was put down because i made mistakes.
    It really knocked my confidence and i just cant seem to get my confidence back

    Now im repeeating this placement in a new school and my teacher and mentors are lovely they said it doesnt matter if i make mistakes because its what training is for aslong as i learn from it. I really couldnt ask for a nicer teacher or mentor.

    I jsut havent had any time to my self for so long to relax ive been in schools and then work in the weekend then up til 11pm lesson planning then up again at 7am :(
  7. As suggested above, try to identify what it is that is making you feel so anxious. If you can identify the issues then you (either on your own, or with the support of others - not necessarily those in the profession, but a friend/parent/partner too) can come up with ways to tackle these issues.
    Also - look at what you like about teaching and why you wanted to get into it in the first place.
    I say this mainly to try to help remotivate you ... however, if you can't come up with any good reasons then perhaps you need to rethink if teaching really is for you. There's no point putting your body through all this stress if you're not getting anything other than a (mediocre!) paycheque out of it!
  8. I taught this morning and felt so confident and i really enjoyed it ! just need to get my confidence there all the time now.

    i think its the combination of being overworked and no sleep :(

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