How I Grew from Being a Shy Child to a Confident Instructor

And the role you can play as a parental figure in boosting children’s self-esteem.

Afzal Badshah, PhD
Practice in Public
3 min readApr 14, 2023

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Dr Afzal Badshah, the author, is delivering Teacher Induction Training

When I first went to university, there were sports programs. Our department won the hockey final, and the teachers and students were very happy. Everyone was dancing, and I stood aside.

Then, a teacher came and took me with them so that I could join in the dancing. I had never danced in my life before, and that day I realized that humans express happiness through physical movements and that we must learn how to do so. In my childhood, I had felt ashamed, and that day I was paying the price for that shame.

How I became such a shy child

There are two potential reasons. The first is that our home environment was very strict; we were not even allowed to speak in front of our parents. In short, I can say that my family did not give importance to the children.

The second potential reason is that I was studying in a government school in an underdeveloped country, where education and health are not priorities. There were only a few teachers, and we were hardly engaged in the classes. We were never prepared to speak or express ourselves in public.

Home and school are primary institutions where children develop. If they get a very bad environment which impacts their personality, how can they add a positive personality to society? They will repeat the same behaviour with all those in their circle.

A group photograph of the author (Dr Afzal Badshah) and trainees

How I overcame it

I remember once when I was in teacher training. There was one trainer who recognized me as a shy person. One day, she insisted that I should sing a poem in front of the class. Obviously, I was not able to do so. So, she started singing with me and forced me to sing with her. That was the day my confidence started developing.

After that, I started recording videos. I used to watch all these videos and evaluate every video, noting down all my issues in speaking, gestures, posture, etc. To further overcome my fear, I started uploading these videos on YouTube.

Dr Afzal Badshah, the author, is undergoing digital skills training.

How shyness can be overcome in children

The first thing I think is most important is the true connection between children and parents. If you have a true connection with the children, not only will they be saved from being shy, but you will also be in a better position to contribute to their life positively.

The school plays a very big role; therefore, you must select a school that develops children, meaning they work on children’s creativity and decision-making skills.

In my school, I use smartphones to boost my student's confidence and help them overcome their fear of public speaking. They record their videos and assess themselves for several days before concluding that they are perfect. I’ve found that this is an excellent way to instil confidence in them and prepare them to face the public openly. Additionally, encouraging them to participate in class activities, morning assemblies, and weekly school events may boost their self-esteem.

Parenting and Schooling-A Comprehensive Guide​

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Afzal Badshah, PhD
Practice in Public

Dr Afzal Badshah focuses on academic skills, pedagogy (teaching skills) and life skills.