Teaching in the UK can have its challenges – one of which is bringing shy pupils out of their shell. As a rule, the classroom is a happier and more productive place when everyone is confident. That is why it’s important to deliver a confidence boost to anyone who may be lacking in self-esteem. There are many ways to develop a pupil’s self-worth and not all of these are necessarily orthodox. However, if you’re currently teaching in the UK, these four hacks should go some distance to getting the job done.
1. Show and tell
These days, show and tell is more commonly relied on in America. However, it still has tremendous value on this side of the pond if used correctly. The concept is simple: you encourage each member of the class to hold a small presentation on something they’re passionate about. The benefit is that the pupils who lack self-assurance are able to discuss a topic that they are confident about. You should find that they have control over the group discussion and aren’t afraid of being outshined by another person in the class.
There’s no such thing as too much positive feedback. In fact, you should constantly use motivational language and back up your feedback with examples to praise your class when they’ve done well, particularly for pupils who struggle with certain subjects and have shown willing to apply themselves. For pupils who may be overly self-critical, this tactic could be just the thing to keep their spirits high and develop their self-worth.
3. Group work
Group work is particularly valuable when it comes to helping pupils develop their confidence together. Unlike when they are set work as an individual, group work brings with it a sense of ‘we’re all in this together’. If you take a hands-off approach, you should find that the groups manage themselves to emphasise their best skills. This means that the individuals with the least confidence should still have an important role without having to handle too much pressure.
Lastly, allow your class to make their own decisions, which can also help them engage more with the learning process. If you spoon-feed them directions, you’re only adding to their dependency and low self-worth. Therefore, show them that you trust their instincts by letting them decide what or how they should learn on certain occasions. This doesn’t mean that you should go off track from the syllabus, but that you should listen to their opinions and give them control over what kinds of exercises might help when it comes to tackling certain tricky topics.
A job well done
There’s nothing more rewarding than watching someone grow in confidence, it’s just one of the many perks that come with teaching. If you’re after improving your pupils’ self-worth, follow these handy hacks and it should be a job well done.