Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: How My Students Trained Me to Teach Them


  • Randall Nedegaard University of North Dakota


imposter syndrome, higher education, teaching, vulnerability, shared vulnerability, Teaching, practice


Starting a new job can be very stressful, and often brings out feelings of insecurity. These insecurities can come in the form of feeling like an imposter, especially in situations, like teaching, when we might feel like a great amount of expertise is required. Much can be learned from listening to our students. In this reflection, student feedback fell into seven themes: 1) teaching methods and style, 2) clear communication, 3) instructor “personality,” 4) real world application, 5) relationship, 6) organization and structure, and 7) accessibility and responsiveness. This article concludes by encouraging openness to feedback and vulnerability in order to move beyond our insecurities and feeling like an imposter.

Author Biography

Randall Nedegaard, University of North Dakota

Graduate Program Director/Associate Professor

Department of Social Work





How to Cite

Nedegaard, R. (2017). Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: How My Students Trained Me to Teach Them. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 22(4), 52–59. Retrieved from https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1491



Teaching & Learning