Confidence comes from doing what you thought was not possible….or so the woman on my workout video says who also screams at me that I can indeed stay in a plank position for 45 more seconds as I am yelping in pain. When I am in said pain, I can’t imagine being confident about anything! All I know is that this hurts and I am not AT ALL convinced that I can stay up for 5 more seconds, much less 45!! …yet when she yells out 3 more seconds and I am still planking (is that even a word?), I know I will finish and of course she is correct. I am beaming because I just did what I thought was completely impossible!
When students come into our room, how can we help them feel more confident about who they are and what they are capable of? Since confidence comes from doing something you thought you couldn’t do, what are we giving our students to do that is challenging, but within their grasp?
This is the perfect time of year to explore this! We are all busy getting ready for winter programs and things are crazy! We are pushing our students to sing better, to remember lyrics, to play their part in time on the xylophone etc.. We are asking a lot of them and they feel the pressure!
They have only been with us for 3 months (give or take) and look at how far they have come!! We have taught them a great deal in such a short span of time (yes we can give ourselves a pat on the back for that!!) and they are about to showcase some of it in the upcoming concert! Why not point this out to them?
We know as educators that helping students feel smarter entails pushing them beyond their limits. They won’t believe us when we tell them that they can accomplish almost anything with hard work until we show them. That is my favorite part of this job! I love the look on a student’s face when he/ she turns to me and smiles because he/ she finally got it! This, in turn, builds my confidence (really? You remember what I taught you last week??) and makes it enjoyable for everyone!
As the year comes to a close and we are in the height of the giving season, I must remember to tell my students what has been learned thus far! It isn’t so much about me saying “aren’t you great”, rather, it is getting the students to congratulate themselves, for this is the greatest gift we give our students every year!