Beyond the writing skills, your students need to develop writing confidence. Writing isn’t an easy task, as you know—from coming up with ideas and translating these to the right and suitable words to finally, being criticized for misspellings, grammar booboos, and whatnot.
It can be a discouraging task at some point. Your goal is to make young writers believe in themselves and their craft and encourage them to write again and again. Here are the best tactics in boosting your students’ confidence in writing.
Publish Their Work
Young writers will experience a sense of legitimacy on what they do when they see that their work isn’t only for the classroom. That feeling can contribute to a boost in self-confidence. So, arrange a big task for them, like a children’s book project or a poem folio. Take advantage of web-based platforms where they can easily collaborate.
In selecting works, let the students do it. Ask them which among the works they did for the year they want to see in their project. This will help them all the more “own” what they are doing as a class. Once the book or folio is done, organize a launch event. Let the parents come and see their kids’ works. Have the students talk about their writing journey.
It’s cliché, but practice indeed makes perfect—that is, perfectly adjusted. You want students to be so familiar with the entire writing process that navigating it will almost feel like a reflex for them. Once they reach that level of familiarity, they would be less intimidated and more confident with writing tasks.
Aside from your writing tasks in class, encourage students to have their own journal, too. Tell them to write anything under the sun, every day. Consistency is important in turning practice into perfection. Dedicate at least 15 minutes of your class time for having the kids share a part of what they have written in their journal. Prepare some guide questions to get the conversation going. This session will help pupils be accountable to each other.
Don’t be stingy in compliments. When a student performs well at an exercise, commend them. If possible, let them speak in front of the class and share what they have learned in their writing experience. This will boost the morale of that student and at the same time, inspire the others to excel and have their moment to shine as well.
How about students who are not performing too good? Compliment them, too. Find good points about their work. Afterwards, try the “sandwich” principle in giving comments: tell something positive about their output at the beginning, and then inform them which areas they need to improve on. Wrap it up by re-telling what they did right.
Again, it’s not just the actual writing skills your students need. They should be able to develop the confidence in navigating this complex craft that they are exploring. Use these tactics to make them confident young writers.