No one is born confident. Everyone feels nervous during a presentation in front of people. Fear of failure stops students from participating in competitions, activities and even classroom discussions. This is due to lack of confidence. But what is confidence?
It is one of the most important skills for a human; it is the belief that you can accomplish a task and not be afraid of failure. Confidence breeds success. Teachers have the power and responsibility to cultivate confidence in students since they are among the most influential figures for students throughout their formative years. Teachers can help students develop confidence by keeping a few useful strategies in mind.
1. Embrace a growth mindset
Having a growth mindset is believing that you can improve yourself with continuous efforts and actions. It is the ability to identify challenges and try to overcome them. It turns out that students who possess a growth mindset are generally more successful, have better grades and are better able to face their challenges. So it is really important to instill a growth mindset in students from a very early age.
Although developing a growth mindset is a long term process with continuous feedback and support, teachers can start with small exercises to help students identify their problems and help them overcome them.
2. Setting up realistic expectations
According to the zone of proximal development, if the level of an assignment is too difficult it can create anxiety among students whereas an easy assignment may not push the child enough to boost their learning.
Therefore, teachers should try to offer a balanced assignment with optimal and realistic expectations that students can achieve. It will also help students gain a sense of accomplishment once they are able to solve the assignment.
3. Praise and acknowledge accomplishments
Praising student work and acknowledging their contributions boosts their confidence. Students will have confidence in their capabilities and strive to do more. Praise should be targeted and related to the process rather than student intellect, for instance, “Good Work! I can see a difference in your work compared to yesterday”.
4. Provide constructive feedback
Studies have shown that constructive feedback helps students learn and grow. You can’t grow if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Teachers should provide necessary constructive feedback to their students. Teachers should be supportive of their students and have faith in their talents.
5. Don’t overcorrect students
Overcorrection may undermine a student’s self-assurance. Before outlining a better solution, give students ample time to think. Otherwise, they might doubt their abilities and show less initiative in class. Success comes from confidence, therefore don’t overcorrect the student’s work.
6. Avoid peer comparison
Every student is unique in terms of cognitive development, learning style, needs, and so on. Constant comparison can cause feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that hamper the learning capabilities of the student. In place of peer comparison, teachers should compare the student’s work with his/her previous work. Self-comparison will help students to know their strengths and feel confident about their progress
7. Wall of fame
Teachers should highlight their students’ accomplishments both within and outside of the classroom. Teachers can also create virtual portfolios for each student and share them with parents. As a result, students will feel inspired because they will have accomplished something, which will encourage them to try new things.
8. Develop questioning skills
Asking questions both within and outside of class is one of the best ways to boost students’ confidence. However, very few students participate and ask questions in class. Teachers should work to create a welcoming atmosphere.
There are two ways to do this. Firstly, teachers should help students in developing the skill of questioning through various activities. Secondly, teachers should encourage children to express their interests in ways that could lead to learning.
9. Use think-pair-share technique
The think-pair-share method is a part of cooperative learning, which is one of the techniques for boosting students’ confidence. With this method, two students must work together to finish the assignment.
They must work on their own findings, talk about them with one another, and polish their work. Later, they must present their work to the entire class, during which other students may provide comments or ideas. Student engagement rises as a result of this exercise, which boosts their confidence and capacity to participate in class discussions.
10. Let students be in charge
Children have a lot to offer. To merely stand in front of the class and speak would be ineffective and it would curb the kids’ confidence. Let them be in charge of the discussion activities. Bring out the talent of each student and urge everyone to get involved in the activity/discussion. Students’ self-worth and confidence will increase if they are given a sense of leadership and importance.
Our discussion of several confidence-building techniques for children will be successful if teachers consistently work to make them better. Although developing confidence takes time, these simple steps will assist both students and teachers in their efforts.
By utilising any or all of the aforementioned methods, teachers can assist students in developing confidence in their skills and acquiring new skills. Since success develops confidence, teachers must inculcate it in students early on if they are to produce successful adults in the future.