Building Confidence In Students Having confidence is like having a new car. You feel good about yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Most likely, you have worked hard, made sacrifices, and saved money so that you could make this big purchase. Your diligence has paid off, and now you are reaping the reward. Building confidence in students is often challenging, but always very rewarding for both the teacher and the student.
Lack of confidence can come from many different sources. Some students simply take longer to understand a concept than others, and this in itself can be the culprit that causes people to believe that they are not able to accomplish all that others can. A student’s performance in the classroom is also greatly affected by their home environment. They cannot be expected to forget all of their problems once they enter the classroom and this will often carry over into their view of themselves and their ability to succeed.
Confident students often, if not always, begin with a confident teacher. If a teacher began a lesson, both looking and feeling very unsure of their abilities, it is rather doubtful that they would gain much confidence from their students. It is likely that the students would not find themselves interested in listening to what the teacher has to say, and little ground would be gained in their learning process. The opposite would likely prove to be true with a confident teacher. If a student began a class with a teacher who stated that the student’s english
would greatly improve over the duration of the course, provided that they worked hard, it would not be surprising if those students were significantly more confident in their ability to learn the language. As students begin to make small accomplishments, they will see that they can indeed achieve exactly what they have set out to do. As Thomas Carlyle once said, “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
It is extremely important to maintain a positive attitude and acknowledge the accomplishments of students even if it is something seemingly small. People young and old thrive on encouragement. A positive, smiling teacher can be just the remedy to cure the plague of self-doubt that can be deeply rooted in a student. Students need to know that they can do well and will succeed if they are willing to put in the effort.
These points are very useful but, just like your new car needs tires and fuel, they need practical ideas behind them to prove successful. Simple actions like being sure that your materials are suitable for the level of your students will help them to confidently accomplish their work. For example, your students might not always understand every word in a sentence, but that should never be the focus. What matters is that they work from the words that they do know and understand and chances are that they can still figure out what is being stated. Another wonderful tool to use the classroom is to set goals. Work with your students to set achievable goals and decide on a reward once that goal is reached. This will encourage them to work hard, and once the goal is reached they will see their accomplishment, and their confidence in their abilities will grow.
Building confidence takes time and dedication. Students often allow the fear of being wrong stop them from taking chances. But be patient, positive, and productive in your endeavour to spur your students on towards a confident future. The benefits that they will gain from such a teacher are irreplaceable, and can greatly affect a person’s future. As Peter T. McIntyre so perfectly stated, “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”