4 Easy Ways to Build Confidence and Persistence in Students
“Students who stop working at the first moment of perceived difficulty are even more perplexing because their lack of persistence is often confused with laziness. While it may be tempting to just advise students to keep trying, this advice seldom resolves the problem. (Julia G. Thompson)”
Outlined in the article mentioned above are 28 different ways to build persistent and confident students. Below, I have summarized the 4 best ways to build confidence and persistence in students.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nicholas R.
Activate Prio Knowledge
The first suggestion was to activate prior knowledge to have the student relate to the lesson. This is a perfect example of the first step of the ESA lesson plan model. If the teacher is able to incorporate a theme that directly relates to a student while in the engage step, then he or she will more likely be able to keep the students' attention and keep their interest in learning the subject that is being taught that day.
Break Lessons Down
The second suggestion is to break lessons down into a format which progressively gets harder as the lesson goes on. This technique will allow the students to succeed which will boost their confidence and make them feel less intimidated by the lesson and the harder work that is to come. The teacher should provide a positive classroom environment that will encourage students and not discourage them. When a teacher talks down to a student the moral will be lowered and in effect, it will lower the confidence a student has and also reflect poorly on the teacher's skills.
When a student has succeeded at a task some form of praise should be offered. When a student is praised it will give them a sense of accomplishment and pride which while then boost their confidence and make them more likely to try and succeed in the course. If a student does not succeed at a lesson and is discouraged it may take a toll on their confidence, in this case, the teacher should offer some encouragement. If the class size and amount of time to teach allow it the teacher should encourage the student to go back and look at what they did wrong on an assignment and ask any questions that pertain to the lesson.
Have Advanced Students Help Weaker Students
The third suggestion that was looked at was to have older or more advanced students assist the younger or less advanced students. In mixed classes some students may be at a higher level and only need to learn specific parts of the curriculum, these students can be used as a resource when breaking into groups. This will boost the confidence in the more advanced student and if utilized correctly peer work can boost the confidence of the less advanced student and allow questions to be asked of his or her peer that they may not want to ask in front of the class.
Help Your Students Realize Their Strengths
The final suggestion that was looked at was to, as the teacher, encourage the students and help them realize their strengths in the classroom. By doing this the students can gain confidence in the classroom, by knowing how they learn and to tailor what is being taught to their learning method. Each student will have a different way of learning, whether it is reading from a book, from hearing a teacher speak, or practicing what they have been taught in class on take home or in class assignments. A teacher will not be able to tailor a lesson to every student, but should make an effort to help every student succeed and build confidence in the classroom.
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