In the Spotlight: Top tips on raising confidence in students

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Some students will breeze through their education with a natural ability for learning. They soak up every piece of information fed to them and will rarely struggle throughout their academic lives. However learning does not come naturally to every pupil and, whilst some encounter little resistance when taught, others struggle to grasp abstract concepts or find it difficult to apply to their everyday life what they learn in the classroom. For these pupils – they may become despondent and quickly retreat away from education, setting themselves on a path to mediocrity or even failure. Instilling confidence in these learners can be the key to them progressing and grasping theories they struggle to understand.

As an educator one of your responsibilities is to help to understand the reasons that some students struggle and to give them the confidence they need to succeed throughout their lives in education. It can be a tough challenge, but there are simple steps to take to improve the performance of these pupils and allow them to be the best they can be.

Adopting a different approach
Some students grasp concepts quickly and are capable of learning by repeating what you teach, but others may not be able to learn via this method. You could make lessons more interesting by introducing visual, musical, or other sensory learning that will spark the interest of all your students, and engage all pupils. The more fun learning is, the more involved your students will be and the less overwhelming the information intake is.

Become a positive role model
There is little more confidence building than to set an example that is difficult not to follow. Showing that you have a confident manner and high self-esteem will boost those around you. Being positive about all things is infectious and soon, the confidence of your pupils will start to rise.

Brain Dump
When you have been teaching abstract or complex theories have your students “brain dump” the information they have just learnt. Get your pupils to write down all they can remember about what you have been teaching and, although they may think they have not taken in information, having them write down what you have been teaching will quickly demonstrate to them that they have been learning and will reinforce your lesson.

Provide positive feedback
Give your students positive and encouraging feedback. Highlight where they can improve rather than telling them what they have done wrong, and do so with a smile and a warm demeanor. This may sound simple, but the way in which you approach the feedback you give can make the difference between an encouraged student and a deflated one.

Set realistic goals for students
Every pupil learns in a different way and at their own pace. Inject confidence into your pupils by setting each one a realistic set of goals or targets. This does not mean lowering the bar, but setting attainable targets that everyone can strive for.

Confidence in the classroom can translate to confidence in life. Enabling students to be happy and positive about learning can set them on the right course for their future and give them confidence that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.