How to Give Students a Boost in Confidence for a New School Year

Giving students a little boost in confidence at the beginning of a new school year is the perfect way to set the tone and make them feel welcome in a new classroom! When students feel happy, respected, and part of a community, I've found them more likely to take pride in the space and engage during lessons.

Photo of All About Me activity with text, "How to Give Students a Boost in Confidence for a New School Year"

In my classroom, I have three simple strategies I use to give students a boost in confidence and make them feel like welcome members of my classroom.
  1. Getting to know them
  2. Giving students a voice
  3. Including student perspectives

Boosting Confidence by Getting to Know Students

I never like rushing into the curriculum at the beginning of a school year. As important as it is to get going - our time is short, and there is much to cover - I've found that getting to know my students as people is worth the time investment.

There are lots of ways to accomplish this. These are my favorites:

Having a Parent Connection

Who better to help me learn about a child than that child's parent or guardian? Every year in the first weeks, I send home a two-page parent questionnaire to help me get to know my students and their families.

You can grab this form free by clicking the image below.

Free "Getting to Know Your Child" resource for parents.

Getting to Know You Activities

I like to spend time in the first few days working on All About Me activities and setting up the beginning of our school year time capsules! These flipbooks make a great bulletin board display for Open House or Meet the Teacher Night, and the time capsules are a fabulous way to look back at student growth over the school year! Hearing from the students is equally important and can be a lot of fun!

Photo of print and digital School Year Time Capsule

Photo of digital All About Me flip book

Classroom Games

There's nothing more fun for boosting student confidence than games!

I love bringing a wide variety of getting-to-know-you activities to the classroom. Anything that gets my students up, moving around, and talking to one another is perfect, in my books!

I've always enjoyed using Scoot games in my classroom to engage students in learning, so I created one designed to learn about classmates! Students rotate in pairs, connecting with as many peers as possible, and have conversations around the prompts on the Scoot cards.

Photo of back to school Getting to Know You Scoot game task cards.
So fun!

Boost Confidence by Giving Students a Voice

Throughout the school year, I need to create an environment to support my students' mental health where they feel heard and feel safe taking risks. I want them to know that their voice matters and feel comfortable sharing with me when they struggle with something.

I accomplish this in two ways, which you may have seen me write about before.

I have a daily check-in station where my students let me know how they feel each morning upon arrival. I also have available "I Wish My Teacher Knew" notepaper that students can access at any time if there's anything at all they'd like to share.

Both of these give my students a voice and let them know they matter to me. What better confidence booster than to know they have another trusted adult in their corner?!

Click the images below to grab these resources free for your classroom!

Free Feelings Check-In station

Free "I Wish My Teacher Knew" notepaper.

Boost Confidence by Including Students

The final strategy I use to give my students a boost in confidence at the start of a new school year and throughout the year is to include them in decisions about:
  • classroom rules
  • class jobs and responsibilities
  • classroom routines

Allowing students to share their thoughts and opinions about how the classroom runs gives them ownership. Students are more likely to follow the rules when they've had a hand in creating them. 

Year after year, my classroom is a tidy, enjoyable space because my students take as much pride in it as I do. It is as much their home away from home as it is mine.

Get ready for the new school year!

It doesn't take much to give students a boost in confidence at the beginning of a new school year, and the payoff is so worth it. 

Grab the back-to-school resources I shared in this post and MORE here:

Back to School resource bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers

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Photo of digital All About Me flip book with text, "How to Give Students a Boost in Confidence for a New School Year"


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