Low Self Efficacy

Low Self Efficacy In Teachers

Do you criticise yourself in teaching? It’s one thing to self reflect on our lessons and make changes. It’s a different thing to criticise your teaching abilities. This sense of self worth as a teacher often leads to personal melancholy behaviour that spirals and leads to a lack of confidence in teaching.

What is self efficacy?

Self efficacy is described as a judgement of ones ability to perform a task within a specific domain reciprocally linked to behavioural outcomes and environmental cues and different domains.

Low self efficacy

Teachers with low self efficacy will talk about their self doubt. Their internal dialogue has been damaged either gradually or traumatically. Not only will they make mistakes but they will feel overwhelmed on what step to take next. Low self efficacy isn’t just a spiralling thought pattern, it affects teacher behaviour inside and outside the classroom. They tend to devote more time to criticism rather than class-related activity when planning.

High self efficacy

Teachers with high self efficacy have greater flexibility, resistance to negative feedback and improved performance (Lodewyk & Winne, 2005). They are persistent in the face of performance failures. High self efficacy teachers are less likely to experience stress, anxiety and depression. They have built themselves realistic expectations and enjoy learning from their mistakes. They are happy to ask for help and give help in return.

Teacher self efficacy

Teacher efficacy looks like praise to students rather than control. It’s a less negative classroom environment and more centred around mistakes are meant to be made.

School efficacy

Here’s the clincher, it’s crucial that teacher’s self regulate their low self efficacy dialogue because it affects student academic learning outcomes. When teachers have low self efficacy it has a flow on effect into the efficacy of their students and their learning results. Schools will need to work alongside these teachers and better lead and support these teachers rather than band aiding the problem.

Teacher efficacy relates to job satisfaction which affects student achievement. It’s also an internal battle for teachers to self motivate.

Do you have low self efficacy in teaching?

You’re not alone if you think you might have low self efficacy. The good news is it can change but it takes deep metacognitive thinking processes for it to occur.

How can I change this thought process?

It’s called the SELF REGULATED LEARNING THEORY (Pintrich, 2000b; Perry, Turner & Meyer, 2006; schenk & Zimmerman, 2006). The self regulated learning theory helps teachers to change their thought process in 3 ways. Using Metacognitive awareness (recognising your thought pattern as it occurs), strategy use and motivational control.

This is something that takes practice over weeks, months and even years to get habitually.

The first step is becoming aware of your negative thought patterns. When you start to recognise this as it happens you are having metacognitive thinking. The next step is to take action to change these thought processes. Using different strategies for to overcome negative thoughts. It’s different for every teacher in different situations.

You can change your mindset. You can control your thoughts to produce positive behaviour. As time goes on it will become easier to have a more positive outlook and build resilience. Write notes in a dairy to help you or even give yourself a 5 star rating for your thinking each day at the top of your diary. Self assess if you want to, but keep those thoughts from spiralling.

You are an amazing teacher for even recognising low self efficacy!

Written By Sarah Courtney