It is very important as a teacher to foster each individual student’s self-esteem especially in their classroom work because “one of the best predictors of student academic achievement is student perceptions of their own academic abilities” (Pressley, & McCormick, 2007). To simply put it, if students lack confidence in a particular subject or lesson – students will begin to lose motivation because they feel inadequate to complete the task.
One strategy commonly used to foster student self-esteem is by simply providing recognition. One method which makes effective use of recognition is referred to as “pause, prompt, and praise” (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). This method is best used when a student is facing a particularly demanding task and is having difficulty comprehending. The pause phase requires the students to stop and discuss with the teacher on the difficulties the student is undergoing and why he/she may be experiencing these difficulties. This then will progress to the prompt phase where the teacher will provide specific examples on how the student can improve his/her performance. Finally, the praise is given when the student’s performance improves based upon the suggested prompts (pp. 55-56). The success of finishing a difficult task will not only keep students motivated but will improve their self-esteem because students will realize that they can achieve anything as long as they put effort into it.
Using strategies of the “pause, prompt, and praise” will help maintain student’s self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the beliefs student has about their competence or ability to perform a task (Pressley, & McCormick, 2007). By helping students work through difficult tasks and recognizing their success, teachers can foster student self-esteem. There are always going to be instances where students get disappointed or frustrated by an assignment, but it is our responsibility to keep them motivated and by doing so, students will want to continue trying regardless of their previous failures of success.
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instructions that works: research based instruction for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Pressley, N., & McCormick, C.B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York, NY: Guildford Press.