Teach English in Qinglong Zhen - Chongqing

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Building Confidence Confidence is key in any learning environment. We as teachers are responsible for creating an open and comfortable learning environment. To encourage the students to participate and not be afraid to be wrong. Just because they don't give the correct response, or the one the teacher is looking for, doesn't mean the response is not valuable. It can be used to learn from. Why was it incorrect? How did you get to that answer? These can be valuable. But, sometimes it is just wrong, but the key is to create a space where it's ok. Keep it coming, even if you are wrong a thousand more times, keep it coming any way and we'll get there together. But the key is we will get there. I'm a huge baseball fan, have been my whole life. I like to point out the the most successful hitters fail 70% of the time. To go a whole career, that can span 15 to twenty years, and have a 30% success rate gets a player elected to the hall of fame. I've watched many games where the manager will send up a player to hit in the most crucial part of the game who has a 10% success rate and that player will succeed at that moment, win the game and be a hero. It happens all the time. So the point is, don''t focus on the failure. Learn from it, and move on. This is where the teachers attitude is the most critical. If the teacher reacts in a negative way, makes a face, or rolls theirs eyes, this can have a devastating effect on the future of that one students success in this or any subject. We must be keenly aware of just the smallest gesture or comment and the effect it has. Same goes when we react in a positive way. So when the student gives an incorrect answer, for the first time or the tenth time, we must treat it as a good step in the process of learning english. Our body language and attitude is so critical in the classroom and we must be aware the effect it has. Keep it positive and up-beat. There is a well established link between achievement and self confidence. Confident students are more likely to engage themselves in the class. If we give appropriate praise the students will feel encouraged to participate in the class. Regardless if they are giving more wrong answers than correct ones, they must be engaged. This should be an environment where students can explore. The baseball hitter that failed his first 100 times at bat only succeeded when the manager put him in with the game on the line was because he didn't let those first 100 at bats get him down. He stayed engaged in the game was ready to go again. Along those lines we should create lesson plans with the outcome to be successful for the students. Don't make the assignments to difficult, but at the same time not too easy either. students will acquire self confidence with successful experiences. As their confidence rises, increase the challenges and they will rise to it. If done at just the right pace (I guess a lot easier said than done) they probably won't even notice that the lessons are becoming more difficult. But their confidence will increase, they will stay engaged and they will be successful. As a teacher it is our responsibility to create an environment where the students are allowed to explore , be wrong, and, hopefully be correct. Either way, it's a place to be confident and participate and then, ultimately, learn.