By Teachers, For Teachers
What do self-confidence, trust, and social interaction have in common with regards to your students? If a child does not have any self-confidence, and has a hard time trusting others, then her ability to socialize with peers could be hindered. It’s easy for teachers to spot children who lack self-confidence, because they are the ones who usually keep to themselves or are easily influenced by their peers. As children develop self-confidence, they begin to learn to trust others. When they can trust others, they can interact with their peers in a more positive way. Here are a few effective teaching strategies to help build students’ self-confidence, their trust, and their ability to socialize with their peers.
If you feel that your students are in need of a confidence boost, then you can start by giving them praise. Praise can be a powerful motivator, and influence a student’s behavior quite quickly. Praise works best when you specify a students’ accomplishment, for example, “I noticed that you studied really hard for your math test.” It’s also important to note that praise should not be given if it’s not earned. Only offer praise when it’s deserved, because the students will know when they are worthy of your praise and when they are not.
Another effective teaching strategy to nurture a student’s self-confidence is to build on his strengths. Create opportunities for your students to succeed. For example, if you know that a student knows a lot of information about animals, then ask them to tell you more about their favorite animal. Asking students for their help is a great confidence boost to their ego.
Lastly, be encouraging and help your students see that there’s a connection between hard work and success. Have a discussion with your students about how long it took the students who got a good grade on their exam to study, versus how long it took the students who didn’t do well to study. It’s important for students to compete against themselves, not their classmates, because this will help them build their self-confidence.
When you meet someone for the first time, you don’t automatically trust them, do you? Trust is something that has to be earned, and when it comes to trust and your students, you must build it in order to have a solid relationship with them. For some students, trust is something they may not have in their lives, so it’s even more imperative that you make the commitment to earn their trust. You can start by always being consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to earning the trust of your students. Make sure that you say what you mean and you mean what you say, because as soon as you go back on your word, your word no longer has value, and your students won’t trust you.
Another teaching strategy to help build your students trust is to be mindful when it comes to your communication. When speaking with your students, be open and honest, and always speak the truth. When you do this, you are putting your cards out on the table and showing them that there is no reason to mistrust anything that you say or do.
Trust takes time to build, but when you’re patient and consistent, your students will learn that you are a trustworthy teacher.
Fostering a classroom atmosphere where all students interact with one another in a positive manner is not always easy. In fact, it can be quiet difficult. To increase the likelihood of your students interacting with one another in a positive manner, you must incorporate a few teaching strategies. The first teaching strategy to try is to give students a classroom job. Classroom jobs are great for social interaction because they force students to work with one another. When students are forced to interact with all different types of people, they must learn how to interact with everyone regardless if they get along or not. Not only do classroom jobs require social interaction amongst all of the students, but it also helps build a sense of classroom community as well.
Another effective teaching strategy to enhance positive peer interaction is the way that you arrange your classroom. When desks are in the traditional “Rows,” it makes interacting with peers much harder. Instead, you need to create a learning environment that flows. Try arranging your classroom in a half circle, use flexible seating, or arrange the desks into groups. This will help students be able to interact with one another better. The more opportunities that students have to be exposed to positive peer interactions, the more they will develop these skills in a positive manner.
Building your students’ self-confidence, as well as their ability to trust (not only you, but their peers), will also help them learn to socially interact in a more positive way with everyone that they encounter. By taking the time to develop these characteristics and skills, your students will thrive, not only in the classroom, but in life.
What are your thoughts and teaching strategies on this topic? Please feel free to comment in the section below, we’d love to hear from you.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.