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  1. #1
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    Teachers with Social Phobia

    Hi,
    I've wanted to be a math teacher for quite a while(and I know I would enjoy it very much). I am currently a math tutor(though it is one-on-one which I comfortable with), and lately I've been thinking about pursuing a certification in teaching. However, unlike tutoring, teaching comes with many more responsibilities and pressures. The thought of actually teaching makes me so anxious because I'll be dealing with not one person but 20-30 kids, but I know on the other hand I would love to do that. Anyone here a teacher?

    I know Dr. Richard who made the SA CBT tapes was a teacher himself, so there might be some hope for me.

    Here are a few of my fears:

    -Dealing with the discipline portion of being a teacher: I am not assertive and can easily give in. I'm afraid of not being able to have the kids I'm teaching under control. (Planning on teaching 8-12 grade).
    -Dealing with parents,phone calls, etc.
    -Dealing with higher authority figures in the school, ie: Principal, vice principal, getting in trouble and not being able to deal with the criticism.
    -Being evaluated on performance
    -Talking with other teachers, the social interaction with them, their opinion of my work.
    -Being assigned to supervise school dances or school activities


    If any teachers here have faced their fears, I would love to hear your experiences on the fears I have listed.

    I would also like to be a professor at a community college(requires only a master's degree), but I'm even more anxious around adults and delving into academia. So any professors welcome to post too.

  2. #2
    CityofAngels's Avatar
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    FWIW teachers tell me high school is so much easier than junior high. Teachers have told me they would quit if they had to teach junior high.


    I want to be positive but I can't honestly say a non assertive person would handle the job. If your teaching college bound kids sure, but the run of the mill kids only respect the strong.

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    Cam's Avatar
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    I'm 99% sure one of my college professors had some sort of social anxiety. You could tell that lecturing was very tough for him, but he fought through it. Like anything, I think it would be tough for you at first, but with time you'd adjust and be more comfortable with it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Cam View Post
    I'm 99% sure one of my college professors had some sort of social anxiety. You could tell that lecturing was very tough for him, but he fought through it. Like anything, I think it would be tough for you at first, but with time you'd adjust and be more comfortable with it.
    Same here, and from personal experience I think it's something you can get used to. I used to lead group tutoring 3 times a week for 3 years back in college... that was some of the best exposure therapy ever. I imagine if you got a job as a professor or teacher it would be even more therapeutic.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reply . Well, I guess that is one thing that I am working on with my therapist. Once I learn how to become assertive, my life will be come a whole lot easier

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    kc1895's Avatar KFC Hipster
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    Woohoo! I'm so glad to hear you're pursuing a teaching career. My friend is also a high school math teacher at a private school and says its very rewarding. We are here to support you 100%.

  7. #7
    Ironman's Avatar
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    Quote MathGirl View Post
    Hi,
    I've wanted to be a math teacher for quite a while(and I know I would enjoy it very much). I am currently a math tutor(though it is one-on-one which I comfortable with), and lately I've been thinking about pursuing a certification in teaching. However, unlike tutoring, teaching comes with many more responsibilities and pressures. The thought of actually teaching makes me so anxious because I'll be dealing with not one person but 20-30 kids, but I know on the other hand I would love to do that. Anyone here a teacher?

    I know Dr. Richard who made the SA CBT tapes was a teacher himself, so there might be some hope for me.

    Here are a few of my fears:

    -Dealing with the discipline portion of being a teacher: I am not assertive and can easily give in. I'm afraid of not being able to have the kids I'm teaching under control. (Planning on teaching 8-12 grade).
    -Dealing with parents,phone calls, etc.
    -Dealing with higher authority figures in the school, ie: Principal, vice principal, getting in trouble and not being able to deal with the criticism.
    -Being evaluated on performance
    -Talking with other teachers, the social interaction with them, their opinion of my work.
    -Being assigned to supervise school dances or school activities


    If any teachers here have faced their fears, I would love to hear your experiences on the fears I have listed.

    I would also like to be a professor at a community college(requires only a master's degree), but I'm even more anxious around adults and delving into academia. So any professors welcome to post too.
    I have to wonder which side of this you are looking at - the SA side or the non-SA side.
    A lot of the kids need discipline because they may not be getting it from home. Just use boundaries on that - threatening to send them to the principal would shut them up real quick.

    A lot of CBT hits the areas you are worrying about - how to react LESS to situations. Remember that other people have issues, too. You know math, so the confidence in teaching the material is there. If you don't have their attention, you GET their attention (or give them a detention or something like that). You have the right not to have your class disrupted.

    Personally, I would love to see you being a teacher - SA should in no way hinder us from doing what we want to do. You'd be a better teacher than you think. The kids need a teacher like you for the sake of their futures.

    I ended up in Computer Science myself - plenty of math. It just wasn't normal being a kindergartener and having the ability to do fourth grade math (long division was a tough concept for a five year old :ROFL).

  8. #8
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    I've considered becoming an English teacher in high school, but I decided against it. For mainly the reason that kids would make fun of me, and I wouldn't be able to handle it.

    That is why I went into computer programming.

    My anxiety has gotten better recently, but I still am hesitant to go into a field that is 99% social interaction.

  9. #9
    takethebiscuit's Avatar
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    Here are a few of my fears:
    I know you think you have problems asserting yourself. And maybe you do. But look at how easy it was for you to assert the fears you think are standing between you and being a math teacher.


    -Dealing with the discipline portion of being a teacher: I am not assertive and can easily give in. I'm afraid of not being able to have the kids I'm teaching under control. (Planning on teaching 8-12 grade).
    And when you're not assertive and can easily give in and afraid of not being able to have the kids you're teaching under control...what would you like to have happen?


    -Dealing with parents,phone calls, etc.
    You've coped with having some quite powerful fears in your life. Those fears haven't stopped you living your life this far. This fear isn't going to stop you either. Talk it over with your therapist, ask about the teaching courses to see if they cover this etc.

    -Dealing with higher authority figures in the school, ie: Principal, vice principal, getting in trouble and not being able to deal with the criticism.
    Again, most likely covered in your training. But consider that none of these people you've listed (principal, vice principal etc) currently exist in your life. They are just part of a worry at the moment. Up until now you've been thinking you can't deal with these things. But then again, the baby version of you probably didn't dream it could walk one day. Or do any of the things you've done in your life so far.

    -Being evaluated on performance
    Can be worked on.

    -Talking with other teachers, the social interaction with them, their opinion of my work.
    Can be worked on.

    -Being assigned to supervise school dances or school activities
    I don't know you and I'm not belittling any of your worries. You know your own experiences, problems and issues. It's just that, if you do want to become a math teacher and this is something you really want then your fears are not going to stop you. I'm sure it does seem scary and maybe even terrifying. Or whatever words you use to interpret your fears and worries. But all these worries are at the moment is guesses your mind is making about what MIGHT happen. The reality is you don't know what will happen yet because you've not given this a go.

    Imagine going forward into the far, far future towards the end of your life. As you look back now on your life...well...what do you want to see: a past where you kept yourself safe and protected but did not go for or get what you wanted? Or a past where you went after what you wanted in life despite having some fears and worries about it all?

    And oh yeah...those kids are gonna have their own set of fears, insecurities etc...wouldn't it be great if they could be taught Math by someone who would understand what it can be like to be anxious etc?

    Think not of the fear for it is simply trying to keep you safe. Instead, imagine the goal of overcoming your fears and the gift of making a positive difference in the lives of many kids.

  10. #10
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    Thank you everyone for your support and especially takethebiscuit and ironman for your input.

    I have just applied to a teaching program! I hope I get in. I should know the results by another few weeks.

  11. #11
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    Have you ever considered joining Toastmasters?

    If you can do public speaking, you can lead a classroom. Public Speaking isn't any scarier than teenagers.

  12. #12
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    Quote WintersTale View Post
    Have you ever considered joining Toastmasters?

    If you can do public speaking, you can lead a classroom. Public Speaking isn't any scarier than teenagers.
    Public speaking is the last thing I want to do
    I fail miserably every time I have tried it and have skillfully avoided picking classes that required presentations in college except one.

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