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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Face your face

Does it happen to you that you don't always know how to answer your students' questions? Or maybe you have ever felt uncomfortable while teaching because you were worried whether your expertise in a topic is enough? *That's OK!* Probable every teacher has experienced uncertainty at some stage of his/her work. Firstly, don't let it discourage you or make you think you are a poor teacher. As it was mentioned, it happens to *everyone*. And secondly, *learn how to deal with it*. Here we present some pieces of advice on how to do it.

Remember that the fact you are a teacher doesn't mean that you are bound to know *everything*. We are all humans and we can all lack knowledge sometimes. What you *should know*, however, is where to look for the information you need. It's always worth knowing some valuable sources of information (e.g. the Internet, coursebooks, videos) that you can use to get the answer. Teach your students where they can look for sources as well.
*Face your fears*. Don't avoid the field you don't feel certain about. Become a *learner*! Explore the field together with your students, question and probe. The students can benefit from that too, when you learn alongside with them, as they have greater opportunity to actually experience the taught subject.
*Admit what you don't know*. Once you do it, you can look for people who can help you. Maybe one of your colleagues is more experienced in an area you lack knowledge in. Ask for some guidance and materials.
*Use what you do know*. Recall what you know about teaching and learning strategies and use them when exploring a new area. Remember that you're trained to teach and you possess many pedagogical tools.
*Observe other teachers*. Find those who have mastery of the subject or content you feel weak in. Watch how they conduct lessons, take notes, and let yourself ask them questions after a lesson.
*Before* you teach a subject, make sure you *understand* it. Only if you have comprehended it fully, you will be able to teach it properly. If you have to, slow down. Be prepared, but allow yourself to be a learner alongside your students.
*Seek professional development*. Remember that you can sign up for professional development *online* (such as webinars or online courses)!

If you want to help your students become active, independently thinking learners, you should sometimes stand in their shoes. Therefore, don't despair when you see you lack skills- treat it as an opportunity to learn, to discover, to become a student again! Both you and them will benefit from such an approach.

We hope that having read those tips you will be even more "equipped" to implement critical thinking into your teaching. Do it with the help of our *Critical Thinking* course and enjoy *session 3*!

source: https://www.edutopia.org/article/power-admitting-what-we-dont-know

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