Confidence is an important social-emotional skill to teach to students. I would even venture to say that it is one of the most important social-emotional skills! Without confidence, not much else will be achieved. This is why teaching confidence in the classroom is so important.
I often cover self-esteem and confidence in my lessons, I use this Self-Esteem Group Curriculum that includes everything you need to teach self-esteem in your classroom. I also use this Social-emotional learning: Self-awareness activities resource to reinforce the learning. Looking for more ideas on how to teach confidence in the classroom? Check out this blog post on Children’s books about Self-esteem.
Read along and let me share with you how I teach confidence in the classroom!
- Explain it
- Model confidence
- Use resources
- Read books
Make sure you are using age-appropriate terms when you discuss confidence. Confidence is believing you can do something even if it is hard. Confidence is also known as self-esteem. It is being sure of yourself and your abilities.
Talk about what confidence is NOT:
- Being arrogant
- Being perfect
- Pretending you never feel nervous of scared
Highlight the ways that students can be confident in their different abilities. Celebrate the diversity in your classroom and community.
Talk about emotions one may feel by choosing confidence:
Remind students that there will be times even people with high self-esteem don’t feel confident, and that’s okay! With older students, this is a great time to discuss what the next steps would be when these feelings of doubt begin to creep in.
Teach self-confidence throughout the day by being positive. Talk out loud about the things you find yourself doing that you are proud of or make you feel happy, like grading all of the morning papers during the students’ activity time or choosing to exercise when you got home from school the day before.
Demonstrate a growth mindset. Don’t shy away from discussing your mistakes. When feeling down on yourself, demonstrate positive self-talk, choose not to compare yourself to others, and model “I can” sentences instead of “I can’t” ones. When you talk about your mistakes, your students will know that they can relate to you. This will help build their trust (& confidence) in you.
Celebrate students when they show confidence. Use positive affirmations to highlight their achievements. Grab a bright colored marker or sticky note and leave tangible affirmations on desks or in cubbies for students to find when they arrive in the morning or after school holidays. I love seeing the beaming faces of my students when I do this!
Resources are a great way to make sure your students are really understanding a topic. I especially love resources that can be used with groups!
I created a Self Esteem Small Group Counseling Curriculum to use with elementary school students. In this 124 page resource, you’ll find 9 group session lesson plans, editable forms, and more. One of the activities included in the curriculum, Self-esteem Sunglasses, is pictured below.
With this resource, you seriously won’t have to think about anything else when teaching confidence in your classroom! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Read books about confidence and self-esteem
Read-alouds are a wonderful way to incorporate teaching confidence in the classroom. I love using books to help teach social-emotional skills. Check out a couple of my favorites below that model positive growth mindsets and confidence. Check out this blog post with recommendations and reviews about Children’s books that teach Self-Esteem. Here are a few highlights of my favorites:
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The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
The Proudest Blue is about two sisters on the first day of school. Faizah proudly wears her new bookbag and light-up shoes while her older sister Asiya wears a beautiful blue hijab for the first time. Unfortunately, not everyone that day sees Asiya’s hijab as stunning as Faizah does. Hurtful words are said about it. In spite of these confusing words, Faizah continues to express the beauty of her sister’s hijab and finds her strength from within.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Grace is a young African American girl who loves books. She loves to imagine things and act out the roles of characters as she reads. Her teacher shared that the class will be performing a play about Peter Pan, and Grace is so excited. At once, she sees herself as Peter Pan in her mind. Her classmates point out that she could never be Peter because she is a girl, and she has brown skin. Grace becomes discouraged by these statements and tells her mom and grandmother. Her grandmother encourages her to be confident in herself and do what she puts her mind to. She sets out on a plan to help Grace believe in herself again. In the end, Grace ends up playing a fantastic Peter Pan in the school play.
I Can’t Do that, YET by Esther P Cordova
Enna and her father sit down to read a book, her father asks her to read the first page and she says she can’t do it. Enna then has a dream and she is visited by her future self. Her future self is a computer programmer and Enna can hardly believe it because she can’t do any programming now, but her future self tells her “You can’t do that YET.” She then meets other potential future selves, and realizes that all she needs to be able to read that book is a little time to get it right. The concept of teaching kids “you can’t do something…yet” is very important to learn to persevere and not give up.
Confidence is my Superpower by Alicia Ortego
Leonardo is a little boy who has had quite a few failures at school. He feels disappointed and sad. His parents help him realize that his superpower is his self-confidence. He changes his sad thoughts into positive affirmations like “I am loved!”, “I can choose!”, and “I am brave!”. These encouraging words help Leonardo overcome other challenging situations that come his way.
The Reflection in Me: Positive Self-image video
A heartwarming family film sharing themes of love, acceptance, and having a positive self-image.
Need more ideas for Teaching Confidence?
Be confident! Embrace your growth mindset and watch your students follow suit!
Check out more confidence and self-esteem resources from my TPT store:
Unique Unicorn (pictured below)
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