How to deal with new teacher anxiety?
This blog answers: How to deal with new teacher anxiety? What are the therapy options for new teacher anxiety?
How to deal with new teacher anxiety?
Following are some of the measures a teacher can take in order to deal with new teacher anxiety:
Reach out to other experienced educators and seek inspiration:
One of the common characteristics of anxious people is the feeling of helplessness. New teachers often have this feeling of helplessness. They consider themselves inexperienced, which affects their self-esteem and therefore elevates their anxiety even further.
A good way to deal with new teacher anxiety is to reach out to others for help. New teachers should seek the companionship of other teachers and expert educators. They would give them support and guidance about teaching and making it effective.
New teachers should discuss their feelings with other teachers, which would give them some relief and possibly decrease their levels of anxiety. New teacher anxiety can also be dealt with by seeking inspiration.
There are a lot of expert teachers and educators out there. They should connect with them and learn from them. Podcasts such as the Truth for Teachers Podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and help for new teachers.
Be prepared and plan ahead
One of the symptoms of anxiety is a feeling of cluelessness. The future seems extremely unpredictable to them. They are worried about their job how they would maintain it, make it efficient, and maintain that efficiency.
New teacher anxiety can be dealt with by making plans ahead of time. A new teacher should make plans about what they teach, how they would teach it, how they should interact and connect with teachers, what kind of reward and feedback mechanisms they should use, what teaching style and methodology they should follow, how they should plan their syllabus, etc.
Planning ahead can be very helpful because it would give them a sense of control over their job and would help them stay prepared.
Don’t forget your personal care
Most of the time, new teacher anxiety increases further and becomes uncontrollable when teachers become so worried about their job that they start neglecting themselves. They stop taking care of their physical and mental health.
In order to stay efficient, a teacher must take care of his/her physical and mental health. They should eat, sleep, and exercise properly. Taking care of themselves can help them deal with the pressure and anxiety associated with new teaching.
Focus On Students’ Needs:
New teachers are often so preoccupied with their new teacher anxiety that they almost ignore their students’ needs. This results in a failure to form effective and strong connections with students.
When there is no connection between a teacher and his/her student, the classroom becomes a dull and unbearable place. New teachers should focus on their students’ needs and not be excessively concerned about the mechanics of teaching.
Teach but always stay a student:
Learning is something that never stops, and it never should. A new teacher should be as much excited about learning from his/her students and other sources as they are excited about teaching. They should keep an open mind and always be ready to learn when there is something to learn. They should never retire the student within them.
Connect with your colleagues:
One way of coping with new teacher anxiety is to connect with other teachers, especially other new teachers. This helps new teachers discuss their challenges with their colleagues, out of which they may come across useful and powerful advice and insights.
Teaching is a highly underrated job regarding how difficult it can be. Teaching is a demanding job, which is why not everyone can be successful at it. Surveys show that around 61 percent of teachers face stress and anxiety during teaching, almost twice the rate of anxiety and stress in other professions.
The teaching anxiety is specifically very high and salient when someone is a new teacher. Anxiety levels in new teachers are substantially high as opposed to experienced teachers. Teachers need to deal with new teacher anxiety because it affects their teaching efficiency.
What are the therapy options for new teacher anxiety?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.
As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.
It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.
Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.
Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief.
In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting new teachers can opt to seek help through the online medium.
In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation.
Online therapy can help new teachers to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time
Teaching is a highly demanding and very important profession. Teachers lay the foundations for the next generations. They have a huge responsibility to deal with, making them very anxious and stressed.
New teachers are particularly prone to such anxieties. However, they can deal with the new teacher anxiety by simply taking care of themselves, understanding their job and their students, sticking to a proper plan, connecting with their students and colleagues, and seeking help and inspiration.
Frequently asked questions: How to deal with new teacher anxiety?
What causes new teacher anxiety?
Some teachers may already be suffering from an anxiety disorder or may be prone to it, which may be the major cause of their new teacher anxiety. Teaching is a job that requires spending a lot of time with students in a closed classroom, which can be isolating.
This isolating nature of teaching may also be the cause of new teacher anxiety. Teachers are also highly conscientious by nature, which makes them highly at risk of developing anxiety in stressful situations.
Is new teacher anxiety a mental disorder?
New teacher anxiety is not a mental disorder in and of itself but is a manifestation of anxiety in general.
Do only new teachers face teaching anxiety?
No, even experienced teachers can feel anxious while teaching. Although new teachers are highly at risk of developing anxiety, it’s not necessarily linked only with them.
Is new teachers’ anxiety curable?
In most cases, new teacher anxiety goes away once some time has passed, and the teacher has gained some experience. However, if it doesn’t go away, the teacher should consult an educational counselor, educational psychologist, or therapist.