Teach English in Hongshan Zhen - Ankang Shi

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Confidence is the golden key that opens firmly closed doors and lets light and creativity flow in. As a former student and present teacher I felt the vital role of confidence in a student, how it can change student’s learning path and obviously one’s future career and life prosperity. As it is claimed in Pedagogy “ a child is a blank board. It’s up to parents and teachers to decide what to fill this board with”. As a caring teacher if you want to succeed in this process to fill this blank place with wisdom and knowledge you will definitely need to create and develop confidence in your students to achieve progress to the best of their ability. I remember myself as a ten-year-old student who did well from all subjects up to fourth grade. When I was a fourth-grade-student I went to school the first day and had a Maths class which I did not comprehend well. I could not do my homework and as my mother saw me in despair she just told me that Maths is a difficult subject and not everyone can study it. That was the fatal sentence that led to my indifference to Maths in the future and I never learned it in my school years. Simply by saying the subject is difficult, my mother broke in me the faith that I was able to study it. Instead, my mother tongue teacher was always encouraging me that I had an analyzing way of thinking. Whenever she asked me a question she would look into my eyes with such a big believe after which what I could do was to justify her trust. More so, after making a sentence she would look at me with a kind, magical smile on her gentle face which would make the fountains of creativity flow in me and breed a unique answer for what I would also be proud of and excited later. Like this I became excellent at learning languages and literature. As an adult I can understand now whatever was told to be difficult I just gave up as a child, whatever was encouraged gave born to flow and success in my life. From my own experience I realized the importance of confidence in students and how a teacher can specialize in it. During my teaching years, which includes conducting private classes at home and teaching in a training center, I worked with different students -from very smart, but lazy students to not very smart, but hardworking ones. During this time I came to realize that every students is unique in their own way-their motivation and personality varies which means building confidence in them can not be applied the same way to all of them. After having classes with different age groups I have clarified some tips which work well with me now. The first and most important one is keeping positive all the time. Trying to concentrate on the pluses rather than minuses creates a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in the class which leads to having confident students. Encouragement and praise- words work magic. Carefully chosen vocabulary and praising even little steps makes students realize that they can do that. Simply by saying “ I believe you can do better”, or “ You are performing very well, keep it up!” can breed excitement and believe in students to be better. Correcting mistakes- in the past I always thought hot correction is the best and corrected all the mistakes students made during any phase of the lesson. Later on I noticed ( and also learned from my TEFL course) that this discourages students immensely and I just stop the flow in them. I worked on me to stop this and now I correct only very vital mistakes and mainly during the study stage. One more important factor for me in building confidence in my students is eye contact, gestures, voice tone and smile. Teacher’s look can stress a child and can help to figure out the answer. Your kind gestures can encourage and you voice tone can change everything. Your “yes” may ‘kill’ and your “no” may give hope- it just depends on your voice tone. Finally, your smile- that magical smile that my teacher used, can dive wings and increase trust in students. Just do not hesitate to do all these things. They all lead to one important aspect of teacher’s role-creating confidence. Confidence is not build in one day . It is a process which depends on the teacher, parents, surrounding people and students themselves. As teachers, we must set up goals for us and stick to them by working out ways, tips and rules to boost our students’ confidence to the best of our ability in order to see individuals who are unique, special and charismatic in their own way. Individuals, who are our tomorrow, out future.