Comfort zone is spoken and discussed so much nowadays; economists, marketing specialists, education gurus, teachers, doctors speak about this zone. Let’s see why teachers need to understand how important it is to get out of the comfort zone.
What is the comfort zone?
It is a state in which people and situations feel familiar, a situation in which one feels at ease and relieved and has the full control of the environment surrounding him or her.
What is the comfort zone for teachers and why we want to be in this zone?
Every day teachers are challenged by numerous opportunities to change, but not every change can be a step to develop oneself. As teachers, we should be able to differentiate between instincts we have developed through our experience and the fears that are fueled with dogmas, not letting us move forward. In the comfort zone, we are not afraid of questions that may challenge our professionalism or question our knowledge. In this zone, we control our relationship with the students and feel fully armed to face the issues.
People are good at avoiding those situations which make them feel in discomfort and rationalizing it. We unconsciously plan our lives to avoid the moments and situations that fear us, but those can be important for our professional growth. Teachers are afraid to get out of their comfort zone because they scare to fail, to make a mistake, and to lose the face. This irrational fear and annoying laziness drag us back to the zone where we feel safe, every time we want to step out of it.
Should we step out of the “safety” zone?
The answer is YES. That is true, that as soon as you want to jump out of your comfort zone, you appear in the panic zone, don’t you? But remember, once you leap, you understand the fear you expected to have, is much more than the real fear. With leaving our comfort zone, we learn to face the fears, take the opportunities and chances, learn the skills to grow both professionally and personally.
There is no evidence of growth.
We are used to those routines and methods that worked well enough in the past, and we do not want to try new things. You need the inspiration to try new approaches, methods, activities. In the comfort zone, we lack this inspiration. In this comfort zone, we do not feel the passion for teaching, and we do not want to strive for more professionalism. In the longer term, we will be out of competition, having our colleagues moving forward and enjoying professional success.
Cannot inspire your students
In the comfort zone, we are not role models for our students; we stop inspiring them and challenging them to pursue and learn more. You feed your students with your emotional energy. If the students do not find the excitement in your work, they will lose interest in your teaching, and sooner or later, you will lose them.
If the classes are going to be routine and not impressive, the learners can easily find online courses to study. Do not forget that now the human factor is not only about knowing what you are teaching; it is about more than that.
Regularly getting out of comfort zone, will boost your confidence as a professional. As only by stepping out of this zone, we learn new things and try them. The confident teacher is the teacher who knows what and how he or she teaches, who bravely faces the unexpected, who is not afraid to lose the reputation.
Make sure that you do not stay too long in the comfort zone, otherwise, the bravery and creativity that you need to be able to pursue your professional success in this life, will get away from you.