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Impostor Syndrome as a Teacher

Teacher imposter syndrome

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I believe Impostor Syndrome is becoming more and more prevalent in teachers today. It could be the lack of resources and support, strain in the system due to austerity or the increased accountability but more and more blogs and tweets are raising the issue.

Below are a few tips that may help you overcome impostor syndrome.  However, the most important thing to do is tell someone!

Competing with Other Teachers

You are not in a competition. Other teachers are your colleagues.

If their classroom looks amazing – ask them for tips, if their class behaves – find out how they do classroom management, or if their classes are making real progress – ask what resources they are using.

We all know that social media is not real life. What a holiday or meal looks like on Facebook isn’t necessarily the truth. It’s the same with some of those amazing classrooms on Pinterest. Don’t try and compete. Magpie the ideas and ask questions.

More than just you

I would suggest that everyone in demanding jobs sometimes are just doing their best. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to some tasks.

Sometimes you will have to teach a subject that you don’t feel comfortable with or a class that just won’t listen. Your lack of confidence is absolutely understandable.

A lack of a experience, or a bad experience, in an area can make your classroom feel outside of your control. But the secret is every teacher, every term feels this lack of control.

How can any teacher know what all their students understand about a topic and how to progress them all?

The more experienced you are the less this lack of control will worry you.

Trust your training – You’re not an Impostor!

Teachers have been using the same approach that you take and students have been learning for years.

Your students aren’t learning due to luck. They are progressing because of your teaching.

You have been trained to teach. Follow the training approaches and figure out what works best for you.

You can’t be Perfect

Don’t expect to deliver perfect lessons all day everyday. Time to plan and prepare are at a premium.

If you try and reach an unattainable level of perfectionism, you are going to feel like a bad teacher.

Simply try and do your best. You are capable of doing the job.


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