Self-confidence is one of the most crucial qualities for success in any endeavor. Most students without this essential trait lack someone to instill it in them. Nonetheless, your students are lucky because they don’t need to look for that person elsewhere – they have you. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be equipped with the best strategies for inspiring self-confidence in your students.
1. Praise loudly but blame softly
This concept is an old truth, but it has never lost relevance. If a student has misbehaved or underperformed, don’t be another one of those people in their life who embarrasses or humiliates them. If the mistake is performance-based, request to see the student in private and handle the matter gently. Don’t forget the intense pressure that many students are under – at GCSE level some students take as many as thirteen different subjects, all with competing demands on their time. Try to learn the reason for their struggle and offer assistance where possible. Let them understand that failure is a normal part of learning, and some people fail many times before they succeed. Offer your unwavering support until they make it. This approach is the best for establishing trust and faith in the student.
Knowing that someone believes in them and will stand by them until they succeed will boost their confidence, and help them truly thrive in their learning. If the mistake is related to behavior, gently address their misconduct in private. Try to understand what instigated the unwanted behavior to resolve the issue from the root. Sometimes a warning is all that’s needed.
2. Don’t compare students
As a teacher, you will meet many students with unique attributes. Expect to meet students who will be so different that you may never understand them completely. But it’s important to accept students’ differences. Don’t compare students or try to make one student behave like another. Each individual’s personality influences the way they act and perceive reality. Rather than attempting to have one student mimic another, it is better to try to understand them individually. Then you may have a better chance of learning who they really are and what makes them tick.
Let students be who they are, and encourage them to embrace their individuality and unique characteristics.
Help them carve out this personality by showing them the behaviors that may lead to destruction and the paths that will reinforce their strengths and lead them to success.
3. Show an interest in their interests
If you are a stranger to a student with low confidence and try to get them to do something, they may question your motives. You need to show genuine interest in your students for them to understand that you sincerely care. Make an effort to learn as much as possible about your students on a personal level, but do this in a relaxed way that the student will be comfortable with. The last thing you want is for students to think you’re prying into their lives.
Learn what the student is passionate about, and offer them opportunities to engage in events where they can practice them. Find other students who like the same things and let them work together. Recommend a club or even an outside event where the student can interact with other people with the same interests. This approach will allow them to really explore and understand their personalities with other, like-minded people. Self-expression like this can be a powerful way for students to boost their self-confidence, too.
As a teacher, take every opportunity to shine some light on students who lack confidence. Let everyone know about their successes and accomplishments. Handle their mistakes privately, gently, and graciously. Encourage them to embrace their unique qualities, but highlight the danger zones. Show a genuine interest in their interests and you will be rewarded.