Teach English in Huoshaozhai Zhen - Baoji Shi

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What is confidence? According to dictionary.cambridge.org confidence can be defined as “a feeling of having little doubt about yourself and your abilities, or a feeling of trust in someone or something”. Based on my current understanding, the key words are “a feeling of having little doubt about your abilities.” The next logical question that must be asked is: What Ability? What are you able to do? Are you able to animate 3D cartoons? Are you able to activate a Facebook account? Or are you able to do something like teach English to learners of a Foreign Language? In order for you to have confidence in your ability to do something, you first have to do something. Why? The reason is simple, because if you have not done something, how can you truly have little doubt that you can do what it is that you claim you have little doubt that you are able to do. Let me give you an example: Basketball Player A practices 100 half court shots every day. He has practiced these half court shots for the past 3 years. During his off days, he hits no less than 20% and during his best days, he can hit up to 90%. Basketball Player B was someone who many said was a great basketball player when he once played long ago, but it’s been years since he has played. An event occurs where both Basketball Player A and Basketball Player B have been selected to take 5 shots from half court. For each shot they hit, they will receive $100,000. It is of my opinion, that one player will be more confident than the other. I believe that the more confident of the two players will be Basketball Player A. Why? He has little doubt because his skills are tried and tested. English teaching is no different than on court real life experience. Just as there is a difference between reviewing someone else’s footage of them shooting a basketball and actually shooting a basketball yourself, or the difference between reviewing footage of someone else evading a right-hand hook vs. actually evading a right-hand hook yourself, there is a difference between learning about what it means to teach in the classroom from the outside vs. teaching in the classroom from the inside. What do I mean? I mean there is no shortcut. Just as there is no shortcut to becoming the greatest athlete, there is no shortcut to becoming the greatest scientist, surgeon, or teacher. It will come with experience. Along with experience comes confidence. The easiest way to verify this is to simply look at new teachers on their very first day of teaching. As a group, they lack confidence, if they have much of any. Why do they lack confidence? They lack confidence because they understand that “Today is day 1”. They understand that this is where I start. Just like rookie athletes, they tell themselves, “No matter how great Day 1 is, I hope I can finish much MUCH bigger than today.” They say these words before they even get started. They are not sure of how well they will do when they first start, but they are sure of one thing, “I want to do much MUCH MUCH better than wherever I start at. Be it good. Be it average. Be it poor, I want to do MUCH better.” They lack confidence because they understand they have not done what is necessary to build up confidence. I believe in order for teachers to build up confidence, they will have to do what is necessary to have little doubt about themselves. They will have to take on students who other teachers warned them about and said, “Timmy can’t learn and you’re wasting your time by teaching him.” They will have to take him on and succeed. This builds confidence. They will have to take on the class that no one wants to teach, because it is considered the class “from hell”. They will have to take the class and succeed, this builds confidence. Teachers will need to get wins and do what is necessary to build up their own successes of walking into any situation where someone says, “you won’t be able to teach X because……”, and the teacher thinks to themselves, “I can teach ….. because I’ve already done this X number of times under similar situations.” That is how a teacher can build confidence.