Teachers are some of the most influential people in a child’s life. When it comes to instilling self-confidence, the role of a teacher in a student’s life is vital. The role of a teacher is not simply to teach students their daily lessons; their role is also to earn their students’ trust, and to motivate them to succeed.

For the most part, children develop self-confidence in their abilities through their academic environment. Students who have a healthy level of self-confidence are better prepared handle the stresses of school, and are also better suited to develop healthy social skills.

How Can a Teacher Instill Confidence in their Students?

Teachers can use a variety of activities and techniques to promote self-confidence in their students. By employing a few or all of the following methods, a teacher will have a good chance of increasing student confidence in their classroom.

Use Positive Feedback

Teachers should avoid critical comments or judgments in the classroom. All communication with students should be positive. Make a point to acknowledge students’ achievements in front of the classroom as well as in private. One of the best ways to teach students confidence is by letting them know when something is done right. When a student does something wrong, show them the right way to do it, then praise them when they get it right themselves.

Set Realistic Goals

Teachers should set realistic goals for each individual student in their classroom, recognizing that each child is different and has different learning capabilities. Goals for the students should be realistically achievable. This allows students to feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete a goal. Assignments should not be too easy, or too difficult, but should be realistic. By holding students accountable to realistic goals, then helping them meet those goals, a teacher is instilling confidence as well as the connecting the idea of perseverance to success.

Implement Egalitarian Teaching Strategies

Sort of like the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned”, not destroying a child’s confidence is as good as helping it grow. Leaving children alone because they are shy, or behind the other students academically, is the perfect recipe for destroying a child’s confidence. Teachers should arrange activities and lessons to provide each student with an equal opportunity for participation. For example, if the students are in gym class, each student should be allowed equal playing time. Classroom set-up should provide students with the opportunity to make eye contact with each other, as well as the teacher. By allowing each student the option to participate, teachers are conveying the message that they value each of their students as individuals. Some students will need after class encouragement in order to be able to participate during the actual class time. Hey, who said being an elementary teacher was going to be easy!

Create a Friendly Learning Environment

The learning environment in a classroom should be open and positive. Teachers should attempt to get to know their students individually. They should monitor their students and get to know their strengths, and the areas that need work. When a teacher asks a student a question they should call them by name. When a student gets a question wrong, the teacher should give them credit for trying. By expressing a positive attitude toward their students, teachers are showing them that they are worth their time and attention. A learning environment that allows students to feel safe and to express themselves stimulates curiosity and the desire to learn. This, in turn, helps students develop confidence.

Allow Students to be Individuals

When possible, allow students to choose their own activities. Allowing students this sense of independence helps build their self worth and lets them recognize their own strengths and abilities. Students can learn confidence by solving problems and answering questions on their own. Teachers should also encourage their students to compete with themselves, not others, by striving to complete a task better than they did before and not compare their work with someone else’s.

Why should I be doing this again?

Student confidence affects learning. Those with high levels of self-confidence are better able to use their cognitive abilities to perform academically. Students who believe in themselves and believe they are competent at learning try harder when it comes to challenging conditions and believe that a challenge will make them better students. Students with self-confidence are more likely to share ideas with peers and are more likely to ask for help when they do not understand the task at hand.

There is so much power in the four walls of a classroom. Teachers work in a unique medium where you can truly create confidence from thin air. The opportunities teachers have to shape children are magical and yet these opportunities also come with an incredible responsibility. If you take at least some of these ideas to heart, you’ll find your students will be better off in the long run and you’ll feel the personal warmth that comes from knowing you’ve helped your students create a more positive trajectory for their lives.