Speaking up alerts the teacher that you need extra help and guidance. This can create a bond between you and the teacher so, if you are worried or anxious about something, you know you have a trusted person to talk to and go to, whether to do with schoolwork or not.
This helps boost our confidence, helps us improve learning capacity and as a result, it helps us greatly in later life by giving us the ability to not fear our own voices.
Creating a safer, more comfortable and positive environment in the classroom is also extremely important for our wellbeing as well as our learning. Teachers can achieve this by following these four tips:
1. Be present
Be perceptive and try to notice if the student is struggling with anything, then address the problems one on one. This will show us that you care about our success and our individual needs.
2. Be consistent
Create a sense of order in the classroom. This is important because every student and child needs some sort of structure in their everyday life. You can do this by keeping the classroom organised and keeping to a regular daily routine.
3. Be encouraging
Praise students if we have achieved something and constructively redirect us if we have gone wrong along the way. This makes us feel like we have done something right, even if not 100% correct and we will want to achieve this again, so will instinctively work harder as a result.
4. Be inspiring
Ask the students what we personally think about a subject and show us that we can put our own opinions forward. Debating is a good way to do this because it teaches us to share our thoughts in a structural manner. It helps us learn that it doesn’t matter if we make a mistake, it just means we can grow and learn from it.
The reasons why we feel like we are hesitant to speak up is that standing and speaking in front of many people is like sitting under a microscope with all those eyes analysing your every movement and mistake; it's not a feeling that people want to experience.
What we don’t realise is that most people are too wrapped up in their own little bubble to notice. We are all scared of getting the answers wrong and then getting laughed at. Everyday people get made fun of, in everything that they do, you just need to learn to stand up for yourself and everybody makes mistakes. What I needed to be told was that making mistakes is okay and it just helps your knowledge grow.
I can say in confidence that putting your hand up in class if you have any questions really helps, and not to mind what other people think of you when you don’t understand. What students don’t realise, is the fact that they are not alone in this way and it is a teachers job to help them understand this.
About our Guest Writer
Year 8 student
Katie is a year 8 student and a resident writer here at Opogo after her involvement with Opogo's TeachDigital and TeachFit programmes as well as interning with Opogo in her spare time.
Katie hopes to harness and hone her skills as a writer by giving us her first-hand experiences and knowledge of the education sector - this time from a student's point of view.