For some students, self-confidence in the classroom comes naturally - for others it takes a little more time to develop. Even though having low self-confidence isn’t the end of the world, it can cause students to struggle a lot more when it comes to learning and academic success. It’s also not unusual for children to also start to question their abilities and find that day-to-day school life can cause them anxiety, stress and frustration. However, students having a healthy sense of self-confidence can help them develop social skills, become more resilient, and embrace their full academic potential inside and outside the classroom. Here’s some ways to help students boost their self-confidence levels in order for them to thrive in their studies.
Help Students Practice Self-Acceptance
A great place to start when it comes to encouraging students to develop self-confidence is to encourage them to examine their strengths and weaknesses from a position of acceptance. It’s important to teach children that self-love and accepting all parts of themselves, good and bad, is key when it comes to building up their self-confidence levels. It’s also important to remind students that their worth is not dependent on their success or failures and that being over-critical of themselves is never helpful.
Remind Students To Focus On Small Achievements
Take some time to sit down with students and make a list of things they’ve already achieved in their life. It doesn’t matter how big or small these achievements are, it will help them develop a sense of achievement and self-confidence. It can also serve as a positive reminder for when they experience a set-back or failure, especially as students who don’t have a lot of confidence tend to focus on the negatives over the positives.
Praise Perseverance And Acknowledge Effort
It’s important to praise and acknowledge students when they do something well or correctly, as it helps them know you’re paying attention and lets them recognise their own achievements too. It’s also a good idea to remind them that it’s not always about the outcome and building up confidence isn’t always about succeeding at everything all the time - rather it’s about being resilient enough to keep trying, and not being too upset if they fail or don’t do the best.
Build Up Realistic Goals And Expectations
Creating big and small goals that are realistic, then achieving them helps make students feel strong and confident. That’s why it’s a great idea to take time with students to help them realise their desires or things they want to accomplish and turn them into actionable goals. Being able to break down larger or long-term goals into smaller more realistic benchmarks can make the big steps seem far less daunting and anxiety-inducing. In fact, setting goals that are manageable and reasonable for your students can help them see how much they’ve grown and goes a long way in setting them up for success.
One of the most important things you should regularly remind students is to avoid comparing themselves to others. It’s all too easy for students to see their peers getting excellent grades or being ‘a natural’ at a subject they find really difficult. This not only can make them feel like they’re failing, but can really affect their self-confidence levels academically. Remind students that everyone has their own unique set of strengths, talents and needs and they should learn to embrace their individuality.
Encourage Students To Try New Things
Finally, even though it’s great for students to focus their energy on what they’re already good at, it’s good for them to diversify too. This can range from getting involved in a completely new extra-curricular activity to simply choosing a topic on a project that’s a little trickier than they’re used to. Building up these new skills and doing things outside their usual comfort zone will not only help students feel capable, but confident they can tackle anything that comes their way!