Not everyone excels in the same things. Some tasks come easily for some, while the same tasks can feel difficult or impossible for others. The affinity we have or don’t have for certain areas and tasks is part of what makes us unique individuals.
The classroom is where this ease or struggle often becomes clear. Some students may excel at a certain subject, like math, where others might feel like they’re trying to learn a second language. For some students, it can be a real blow to their self-esteem.
Which is the best strategy for overcoming low self-esteem as it pertains to learning?
It’s important that a student can approach subjects they are learning with confidence, after all.Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Overcome A Fear Of Mistakes
There’s one right answer in math and a lot of wrong answers. Part of this stark right-and-wrong may prove to be difficult for kids who excel more in the margins of English or even History classes, where discussion and analysis have more room for interpretation. In math, the fear of being wrong is often what produces a lack of confidence in many students. Yet, to look at math as only a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ situation is to create the wrong learning atmosphere entirely.
When students fear making a mistake, it can paralyze them. Those who excel in math aren’t afraid to make mistakes. Thus, if you are trying to teach a student self-confidence in math, it’s important to take the fear of making a wrong move away from them. Instead, emphasize that the goal is to understand the broader idea that is being talked about, not the final answer. If you’re learning algebra, it’s more important that the individual
learn the big picture rules than it is they get every individual question right.
Reiterate to a student that the questions are just intended to push them towards learning the big-picture ideas, and it’s okay if they get some wrong. In fact, getting a question wrong is often the best kind of learning opportunity.
Take Risks And Try New Strategies
Individualism is also important to retain while learning math. Not only should you student feel as though they can be wrong, but they should also feel like they can approach a math problem from their own angle. This is one of the main tenets of active learning .
Rigidity in how things ‘must’ be done in math can be limiting to many students. There are some students who can really excel if they are given the space and room to come to the subject on their own terms.
Encouraging students not to be afraid to take risks and look at things from new perspectives is one key way to help increase their overall self confidence when it comes to math.
Not Relying On Outside Help
At the beginning of learning a new mathematical concept, a student will probably need to lean heavily on the help of an instructor. But as a student gets more comfortable, they should lean less on this kind of help.
A student who is put in charge of their own learning is much more likely to take charge and develop their own form of confidence. If they are always looking to a teacher to confirm or deny the steps they are taking, they’ll never have the confidence needed to push forward on their own.
At a certain point, students will need to be able to check their own work and almost serve as their own instructor. When a student has hit this point, they will have reached the proper level of confidence needed to excel in math. They can then go bring that confidence into future classrooms, math contests , and their eventual careers.
Open Paths of Communication
An important thing you can do for a student who is struggling with math-based confidence is to have an open discussion with them. Instead of trying to skirt around the subject, talk directly and openly about it. How do they feel about their current level of confidence with the subject?
Getting a student’s perspective and opinion may yield new strategies that can help that student grow. No one strategy is one-size-fits-all, so it can be key to listen and learn from the person themselves.
Even the act of asking and listening can help to increase confidence. A student who is put in a position to speak to their current situation and what they would like to do is being given a certain sense of power that many students aren’t.
Experiencing this sense of power can be a huge confidence boost for many students as time goes by. A person who feels as if they are a partner to their own learning is much more like to take initiative and to approach the subject with the verve it requires to succeed.
Math can be a hard subject for many, but allowing a student to talk about it on their own terms can open pathways that you likely would have never thought of on your own. The results you experience later can be staggeringly different.
Which Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Low Self-Esteem In Math?
Which is the best strategy for overcoming low self-esteem in math? There isn’t one clear answer, but the above information can provide a few different options worth looking into. Increasing math confidence can be difficult but rewarding for both the educator and the student.
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