Teacher candidate is nervous speaking in front of secondary students.
I work with new teacher candidates, and one simple question gets them to understand how to have more presence.
First ask: Who is a teacher that you admire that exhibits presence? What animal would accurately describe this person? Why?
Then ask: What animal do you feel like when you're in front of the classroom? How do you think the students might perceive this animal? And then, what animal would you like to be in the classroom? What characteristics does this animal have?
Get them to imagine this animal and then role play with them as this animal in mind. I have some students accurately say they feel like a mouse, but want to be a lion. Of course, there are aspects of the lion that we don't necessarily want, but it at least gives them an idea of what they are shooting for.
I learned this from the work of Elena Aquilar, "The Art of Coaching." Good Luck!
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I would give the teacher some time to adjust - and start small. Maybe he/she can start with just part of a lesson, going over homework, or working with students in smaller groups. Then once he/she gets more comfortable with the student, gradually increase his/her time in front of the whole class. I was very nervous when I started student teaching, but the more I got to know the students and the classroom teacher, the more comfortable I got speaking in front of them.
It was helpful for me to start by working with a small group of students. After a few weeks in, I developed relationship with my students. After getting to know my kids, it was a lot easier to speak to the whole class!
As a student teacher, there are a few hurdles I personally had to overcome when it came to talking to students. The first hurtle, is the age gap between me and the students. With the secondary students, the age gap was smaller, and I had to learn how to make myself appear as if I was more of a teacher. The second hurdle that I had to overcome, was the fear of making a mistake that I was called out on by a student. I found that the fear of saying or doing something wrong was a huge possibility, and I did not want to be embarrassed like that in front of everyone. Something else that had always been my concern when I first started student teaching was classroom management. I happened to have very little management skills, so it really helped knowing that my mentor was nearby and willing to support me in case something popped up.
Some of the best ways that I got over these hurdles was obviously experience in a classroom. I spent a lot of extra time observing different teachers while also being a student teacher, as well as volunteering at events where students would go on extracurricular activities. The other thing that helped me was hearing stories from my mentor teacher, and the other teachers. When I can hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly from other teachers, it not only helps me get an idea on how to manage myself around students, it also gives me insight on how or how not to handle those situations.
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