Action Plan for Teachers to Develop Confidence in Students
For any teacher or school, there is no sense of achievement greater than seeing their students succeed in life. And it is for this reason that they focus extensively on improving and enhancing their strengths, help them overcomes weaknesses, etc. Here is a plan of action based on research and statistics, which is known to help students in the same.
Action Plan for The Teacher
Based on the reviewing of grades, counseling, questionnaires, etc., you will have a good idea about the strengths of the students - and may be were lucky enough to identify their core and inherent problems or weaknesses too. Now is the time to work on actions that can help you work on their weak spots and help them to overcome the same.
Create Space for Strengths to be Revealed
For weaknesses to be overcome, the idea is to focus more on their strengths. Here teachers can provide time each week for students to explore and create in their areas of strength and interest. They come up with innovation solutions like taking time out for their students for focusing on things outside the academic arena or provide opportunities for students to showcase and bring out their strengths.
There is a strength grid available that has been devised by Kathy Cox, which has developed a strengths grid that can be used to frame individual conversations with students (called “strengths chats”). As per this grid, the students and their strengths are divided into social, academic, athletic, artistic, cultural/spiritual, and mechanical.
Actionable is not really the only turning point for helping a student understand strengths, talents or even their weaknesses. The idea is to also observe them and work out a plan that would be relevant. A kindergarten kid who is not playing outside for days could be a victim of bullying or a teen who’s loosing weight drastically could have other issues on the mind. So observing them inherently is the core step for making actionable plan turn fruitful.
Checking with Others
In particular, some students are prone to weaknesses and don’t really reveal much about their talents or strengths. In such cases, it is the duty of the teacher to take a different approach of asking others. In the real-life teachers and school authorities should focus less on grades but focus on the strengths. In the sports movie ‘The Blind Side’ the focus is on a student from the Afro-American group, with core skills in sports. Here the teachers emphasize on oral instead of written tests and checking knowledge grasp instead of just going by grades help him emerge as one of the biggest achievers in American Football history. So as a teacher, you can check out with former teacher, coach, family member or even school authorities to work out this option.
Keep in mind that the more a teacher thinks about a student, the better are the solutions. You should remember that focus should be on the problem area and not the problem. Every child has a different educational, cultural and emotional background so deep insights may be required in rare cases. But in most cases, the student is able to overcome these issues with ease, unless there are some major complications involved. Psychological analysis is one of the best ways for getting a reason why a student is not learning and help finding a solution. However, such situations should be handled with caution because you don’t want to pressurize the student or make them appear that their is something wrong with them. This may involve a series of tests and counseling sessions to identify deep-rooted issues, especially emotional ones that may be a hindrance in the learning process. It also helps in finding out inner talents of a student, which could be anything from protective skills to art or even math!
Changing Educational Style
As mentioned above, there are some weaker students who are unable to grasp the totality of the lesson. They may need tuition or extra help from the teacher. Here the responsibility of the teacher is to understand these inherent weaknesses, in particular for certain subjects and then discuss and sort out solutions. For instance, if physics or history is their weak point, some extra lessons or changing the educational style can work. For instance, if a theorem is proving to be too difficult for them a practical demonstration or visual approach can help them in getting a better understanding of the same.
Keep in mind that encouragement plays an important role in the success of a child. Once the teacher is able to identify the weaknesses of a student, he/ she can try to encourage them in more than one ways. Applauding them in front of the entire class and praising their effort would be a great start. If their grades improve in the subject they were weak in, tell them to keep up the effort and reach out to you for any kind of help. This little level of confidence is would really help in elevating the effort of the weak student and help them to strive for more.
Persuading, Patience and Persistence
These are the 3 P’s that any teacher should stick to during the entire tenure of their educational careers and later on too. Remember that kids tend to lose their confidence at a much faster rate as compared to adults. This happens because their developing minds can handle pressure at different levels. So here the key is to be persuasive and keep guiding them for striving better. In some cases, it would also mean a lot more of patience and persistence. But if you lose the effort and give up now, it could mean that the life of a student and their future success is also at stake. A tiring and maybe exerting combination right now for you, but when the rewards come in and you see a particular student improve on skills that were once their down point - the feeling is definitely ecstatic.
One problem that teachers should address at this point to themselves is whether they are favoring the more intelligent students unknowingly. This is something that is not done intentionally, but teachers often ask brighter students to help them with a project or an assignment. Of course, it means that the work gets done faster. But what you can also do here is that you focus on asking kids who are particularly weak in a relevant subject or field to help you out. Not only will this be an encouraging factor for them, but it also shows that the teacher is taking an interest in them. A model for any student it often the teacher and being given a little extra interest sure gets them happier. Be it a toddler in Montessori or a high school student. Your focus should be to encourage the students to learn and improve through the above-mentioned suggestions.
Again, the effort required might not be just restricted to you but should come from the school as a whole. So it might mean some extra hours after school for a while or taking that effort to help them elevate their skills, but you will surely get there. So try being a friend to the weaker kids, you are taking things a notch further. If you can rope in a few other teachers, whose subject the child is weak in – could be sports or academics, you will be taking a conscious effort together as a group. And at the end of the day, you would have benefited and helped a little genius to evolve and work towards a better and more successful future with confidence.