Class Management

Encouraging Confidence

There comes a time, or two, or three, when students are required to write a test. Whether students begin studying weeks in advance or stay up late and cram information into their brains the night before, many take issue to sitting in a classroom with thirty other individuals and writing down everything they know. This can be very discouraging and lead a student to lose trust in him or herself. This is where you as a teacher, mentor, and leader, can help to boost your students’ confidence and support them. Below are three tools that can positively aid students who lack confidence. Direct as follows.

Method #1

Confide: Close your eyes and imagine someone who is trusted and comforting. Tell them about everything negative that is running through your mind. Watch as your confidant receives this information without criticizing or judging you. Open your eyes.

Method #2

Reflect: Close your eyes, see your confidant in the mirror and listen to what he/she has to say about what you have confessed. Receive the positive reflection and think about it. Open your eyes.

Method #3


Envision the Steps to Confidence: Close your eyes and let the image of your confidant disappear. Take time to envision yourself correcting the original negativity that has troubled you. Do this until you feel that you are successfully managing your thoughts and feelings. Open your eyes.


Keep any distractions out of the classroom and out of your head! This includes anything from guests (other teachers, principal, other students, etc.), anxiety, past tests, fear, or even how others are doing on the same test you are writing.

For this, have your students close their eyes, deeply breathe in and out, imagine a place that is very comfortable to them and then pick three tools that can aid in decluttering this space. Such tools can include: a broom, a mop, a shovel, or a hose. Once a distraction comes creeping in, take one of the tools, and swoosh it out the door. Once the space is cleared, students can open their eyes and begin/continue their test.

The preceding was adapted from Test Success! How to Be Calm, Confident & Focused on Any Test by Ben Bernstein, published by Spark Avenue