Develop Students' Inner Voice and Help Create Effective Learning Habits

There are several common responses that teachers receive when they ask the class a question. Sometimes students will respond quickly with the first thing that comes to their head and other times the default is "I don't know." Students tell themselves, "I can't" without even trying. 

Let's take a look at some of the common reasons that students don't believe in themselves:

  • Past experiences. If a student has had negative experiences in school, such as failing a test or being bullied, they may be more likely to doubt their abilities. In a child's life every issue seems like the end of the world, so one bad thing may make a student believe that they'll never learn effectively again.
  • Comparison to others. The students who receive A's on their test feel worthy and on top of the world while students who receive lesser grades fall to the inclination of comparison. They look at their peers who earned top marks and think of themselves as not as smart. Comparison doesn't stop their, however. Students are constantly comparing each other socially, athletically, musically, and more.
  • Lack of support. Hearing someone say they believe in you is a huge confidence booster. If a student doesn't have supportive parents, teachers, or friends, they may be more likely to doubt their abilities.
  • Negative self-talk. Students who are already unconfident in themselves tend to make it worse by partaking in negative self-talk. Some students constantly tell themselves that they're not good enough or that they'll never succeed. Students who practice negative self-talk are more likely to have low self-esteem and be less willing to attempt anything.

As educators, we have to identify the unconfident students and help them develop their inner voice, so they can create effective learning strategies. Here are some ways to help students develop their inner voice to build confidence. 

  1. Challenge negative self-talk. Teach metacognitive strategies that help students become aware of their own thinking. Teach students to be able to catch when they are thinking negative thoughts and challenge them. 
  2. Set realistic goals. Sometimes students hold such high expectations for themselves. When you set goals that are too difficult, you're more likely to give up and engage in negative self-talk. Help your students set a series of smaller, achievable goals that will help them build their confidence.
  3. Model self-talk. Demonstrate and model positive self-talk during instruction. Share your own thinking processes and decision-making aloud. Verbalize how you approach problems, analyze information, or evaluate choices. By hearing your thought process, students can learn how to engage in productive internal dialogue.
  4. Find student supporters. Having people believe in you makes you believe in yourself. Set your students up into pairs or small groups and have them work together. These students will be each other's supporters when they are doing work. If a student is feeling unconfident in their work they can talk to a peer about what is troubling them. 
  5. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. When you practice mindfulness, you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and you learn to challenge negative thoughts. Have students participate in mindful activities that to help them understand that doubting yourself is normal and learn how to overcome those feelings of self doubt.

When students have a positive inner voice they can begin to create effective learning habits. Here's how:

  1. Self-Motivation: A positive inner voice acts as an internal motivator, encouraging students to persist, stay focused, and tackle challenges. It provides an optimistic outlook and instills a belief in one's abilities, leading to increased motivation and a drive to achieve academic goals.
  2. Growth Mindset: When students develop their inner voice, they begin to adopt a growth mindset, which is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and learning strategies. Now students will work towards the goal they have set by following their own unique process. 
  3. Improved Self-Regulation: A positive inner voice assists in developing self-regulation skills, such as setting goals, managing time effectively, and staying focused. It encourages students to engage in self-reflection, monitor their progress, and make necessary adjustments to their learning strategies. This self-regulatory process supports the development of disciplined study habits and effective learning routines. 

Helping students develop their inner voice takes time and effort, but it's worth it. When students are confident in their abilities they will thrive in the classroom and adopt effective learning habits that they can use for life. 

Main post image by cottonbro studio from Pexels

50% Complete

Need help solving a problem?

Grab our powerful Hacks on mental health, fitness, wealth building, stress reduction, diet, work-life balance, longevity, and more--FREE impactful strategies you can read today and use tomorrow!