Fostering Self-Confidence in the IB PYP Classroom

Featured
Devika Bhutani
Published on
March 16, 2022

Self-confidence is a complex trait to measure and to impart. Some children exhibit self-confidence from their first day of primary school. But for others, it's a skill that must be fostered and actively encouraged. In the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) at One World International School (OWIS), this task falls largely on the classroom educator.

How OWIS Educators Build Self-Confidence in Their Students

OWIS teachers use four different techniques to foster self-confidence in their students:

1. Focus on a Child's Strengths

Just like adults, children have their own individual strengths and areas for development. By recognising a student's strengths, their teacher can build upon them. For example, children who possess strong social skills may soar as part of a group. On the other hand, a child who is reluctant or uncertain may feel most comfortable working alone or with one trusted peer.

Along with encouraging strengths comes the responsibility of knowing each child's preferred learning style. For example, some students are kinesthetic learners, meaning they learn best when physically doing things. OWIS educators foster this learning style by allowing these students to build models or work with manipulatives and materials. Similarly, another student may enjoy papercraft. This student might learn best when allowed to do origami, make a kite or glue cutouts into an interactive notebook.

At OWIS, it is the teachers’ responsibility to familiarise themselves with the individual strengths, learning styles and preferences of each student in the classroom. Teachers encourage them to begin with familiar tasks before taking on significantly challenging ones. Thus, they facilitate students in achieving their goals.

2. Set Attainable Goals

Achievable goals also play huge roles in building student self-confidence. OWIS educators set goals that are challenging but realistic. This makes them reachable. When children find they can achieve the goals that have been set for them, they're encouraged to continue. As a result, they not only develop confidence in their own skills and abilities, but they develop a love of learning as well. This, in turn, inspires them to keep moving forward, exploring, questioning and achieving.

Goals in the OWIS classroom are student-centric. They are important to learning and important to the student, as well. Students want to achieve them because they know they can. And when a goal has been attained, the next step involves rewards.

3. Reward Effort and Improvement

OWIS educators believe every step of learning is a cause for celebration. By recognising students for attaining goals, making an effort to improve, and showing a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, we're reinforcing a child's value. Students understand that progress matters, no matter how small. And our teachers make every effort to praise students in front of their peers so the entire classroom can share in the positivity.

4. Foster an Inclusive Environment

It feels good to belong. When children feel as though they're a part of something bigger, whether it's a team, the classroom or a global society, they feel confident. For this reason, educators at OWIS are careful to include every student equally. Each student has a chore or responsibility. Whether it's a writer, materials manager, artist or timekeeper, everyone has an important role to play. This helps students learn to believe in themselves and their talents. It also teaches them that their contributions matter, and that they are an integral part of a whole.

The Importance of Positive Learning Outcomes

The four techniques used by OWIS educators to foster self-confidence in the classroom are reflected in student learning outcomes. As children take risks, achieve goals and receive recognition, they are encouraged to keep moving forward. Slowly but surely, they become champions of their own learning. By setting ever more difficult goals, students begin to take setbacks in their stride and demonstrate resilience. Where they once may have faltered and become disheartened, they now stand up, dust off and keep on going. They become risk-takers, open to exploration and experimentation. They communicate more confidently with peers and have no trouble sharing ideas and opinions.

Schedule a Tour of One World International School Today

One World International School is a leading international school in Singapore that offers the IB Primary Years Programme, underpinned by the English National Curriculum. As a result, it's a popular international school for expat families in Singapore. Our two locations, OWIS Suntec and OWIS Nanyang, feature technology-driven campuses, modern classroom facilities, and kindness-led, student-centric education. (OWIS Nanyang is an authorised for the IB PYP, while OWIS Suntec is an IB PYP Candidate School.)

If your family is searching for an IB World School in Singapore, we invite you to contact us for a campus tour today. At OWIS, we take pride in our students, and we encourage them to take pride in themselves and each other. We would love the opportunity to tell you more about it.


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About Author

Devika Bhutani

Grade 2 Teacher

Originally from India, Devika Bhutani holds a Postgraduate Certificate in the IB Primary Years Programme from the University of Melbourne and a Cambridge International Certificate in Teaching and Learning. She understands that every child has a unique learning journey and enjoys promoting innovation, curiosity and inquiry. Outside of school, Devika spends time with her daughters and experiments with creative techniques while cooking, baking, sketching and painting.

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