Being a teacher should be about more than showing your students how to memorize information that will be on a test. It should be about helping them to become the best possible versions of themselves and be proud of who they are. Confidence is a gift that is within all of us, but it often needs to be coaxed out by a mentor, like a teacher. This is how you can make your students feel more confident.
Focus on Building Blocks
Every Nobel Prize-winning chemist had to learn the periodic table. Every critically-acclaimed author had to learn how to write sentences. Genius is not created in a vacuum. It’s nurtured one block at a time. Your students might be lacking confidence because they’re too focused on the road ahead of them rather than the one behind them. Each new school year brings academic growth as you build upon what students learned the previous year. Remember to emphasize the value of the knowledge your students have gained. One of the greatest pleasures of learning is how it’s a continuous process, no matter what the subject is or what stage they are in.
Use a Variety of Methods
One of the biggest obstacles to confidence is seeing how others are doing and feeling demoralized because you’re not keeping up. Students are only human, and humans tend to compare themselves to their peers. If you appeal to different learning styles, you can show your students that everyone takes in the material in unique ways. Supplies like flashcards, folders, and colored pencils can be used to spice up your lessons and help your students remain engaged. During lessons, encourage your students to speak with you in private if they’re ever having trouble with a certain concept.
Part of being a teacher means having humility. Your students might see you as an authority figure who can’t possibly relate to them, but you’ve been in their situation before, even if it’s not exactly the same. Be honest with your students about how something gave you trouble when you were first learning it. Showing that you and they are not all that different can help remind that just because they’re struggling now, it doesn’t mean they always will be. You can also rephrase things in a way that makes them far more understandable.
Making your students feel more confident can also make you feel more confident. It takes a special person to help someone believe in themselves. When you see how much your encouragement helps your students, you’ll hopefully realize that you have a gift for bringing out the best in people.
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