A lack of confidence can become a heavy weight on student performance. It makes them feel unsure about the topic at hand, prevents them from reaching their potential and leads to unnecessary stress and disruption.
Boosting student confidence can have a significant impact on a class or an individual, they are more likely to speak up and give an opinion and is well worth the effort. Here are the best ways you can help instil confidence in your students.
Create active rolls for your students
Perhaps the very best way to give your students confidence in the classroom is to have them actively involved in the learning process. Have your students take turns to lead discussions or activities, give them the freedom to share their knowledge on a subject and encourage participation from every person, and you will be surprised at the results.
By providing a sense of leadership and responsibility, you boost confidence and their sense of self-worth, but at the same time also show them that they are not bystanders being left behind, but are active participants in the learning process who can contribute meaningfully.
It sounds simple, although with so little time to spare it certainly isn’t, but spending time with those students who are lacking confidence can be all the help they need. That could be one-on-one time during group activities, even a small amount of time during lunch, before or after school can make the difference. When a student feels valued in this way, that you will take the time to help and understand their problem, that itself boosts confidence and makes them feel a part of what is going on.
This strategy can also involve the parents. Instead of only talking to parents about a problem, be more proactive with contact. Tell them their child is doing well, and feel it is important that they know. This will inevitably lead to praise at home, and lead to increased confidence for the student outside the classroom too.
Always recognise accomplishments
One of the things a lack of confidence does is cause a student to focus mostly on the negative. However, taking the time to praise a student for success in any activity, however small, can do the opposite and boost confidence. Praise can be given in private and in front of their peers, each equally validating for the student.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant, pointing out a section of a paper makes a great point, is written well and so on allows a focus on a positive aspect of what the student has achieved, and that can be enough to make the difference.
As well as boosting confidence, we should make sure that we don’t fall into practices that actively harm the confidence being built. Always allow students to make their points. Only when they have finished should you suggest that there may be a better approach or idea. Constantly interrupting every minor mistake can destroy confidence very quickly, and at best will mean a student will stop trying to answer.
Have you ever considered placing students on an online alternative provision to raise their confidence? EDClass can provide one-to-one support from qualified teachers with a pastoral wraparound approach for students to help enhance their confidence to an elevated stature.