Teach English in Dazhongqiao Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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What is confidence? Referring to the "Cambridge dictionary", "confidence" is "the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans or the future". Another source such as "collinsdictioary.com" defines confidence as: a) "Belief in one's own abilities; self-assurance." b) "A feeling of trust in a person or thing." Some of us often say: "I can do it!", but some of us, unfortunately, not. Those who are doubting themselves and their own abilities are in need to build their self-esteem or self-confidence. Self-confidence is probably one of the most important things in people's life. It gives us strengths we need to accomplish what we want. All of us are sometimes facing the problem with self-assurance. Then we need someone who can encourage us to believe in our inner power and support us in a way that shows us: " You can do it! Just believe in yourself!". The foundation of self-confidence begins with the very first moment of our life. Family, surrounding, teachers all have a great possibility to build a healthy environment for self confidence growth. Unfortunately, many people are growing up in a not really supportive atmosphere and as a result they experience a lack of self-confidence which is directly related to their school performance and social life. I personally think that the teacher is a person who can and should establish the facilities that make it possible to build and encourage student's self-confidence. According to my own teaching experience the first lesson is the best moment to get to know the students and to plant a seed of positive and trustful atmosphere. During my first lesson I love to talk with the students about one of the greatest who became one of the most successful musicians of the 20th century despite his total blindness: Stevie Wonder. This topic is interesting for all ages whether there are young learners or adults. It inspires and motivates students to do their best and work hard, allows them to see the difference between each other but respect and be tolerant to each other as well. It is also good to let students complete the diagnostic test and assess the results together with the students to set our goals and aims. This is a wonderful approach to let students feel that they are a part of the whole process and their opinion is very important and always will be considered. It helps a lot in building their self-esteem and social interaction skills. To check any improvements we use "Self achievement" tables that were created by students. Once the topic is learned i fill the tables with each student individually. So that we can talk about what was accomplished and what we should still work on. It is very important to don't criticize students, but to praise them for what they have done and bring in ideas of how we could fill the gaps in their already existing knowledge. Always use "honest praise" and praise your students every time they have done something well. Celebrate even small achievements. Every lesson reward the students' efforts by giving them bonuses, points or stickers. By the end of each month it is very good to award students in different nominations according to their achievements or specific good behavior. It can be certificates, plagues and so on. For the best student of the month it could be a newspaper or magazine article. Create a class newspaper or magazine for example. Together with the students choose someone who you will be writing the article about, create the text and publish it. Make sure, each student and his/her achievement has been noted in this newspaper by the end of the year. To share the classroom responsibilities between all students is also important. It makes students feel their importance and teaches them what it means to take responsibility in all its impressions. It is ok if students will experience mistakes and disappointment from time to time. You are there to support and direct them to work their things out on their own. Let them know that you are there to help. With your help, support and many tries they will achieve everything they want! Build a supportive, friendly and respectful atmosphere for all students. Let them feel that it is not only a class where they are learning a language but it is also their family where everyone is ready to help and support each other. It will make every student feel comfortable and confident as much as feel their own importance for each other and the world. As a result you will see happy and self confident people who succeed not only at school but in their whole life.