Pupils are Not Self-confident

Vignette #11


I am a student teacher in Mathematics and I am in my final year (bachelor) before graduation. At the moment I am working as a student teacher in an internship in a ‘gymnasium’ school for secondary education (gymnasium is the highest level of education in the Dutch system, a six-year program which offers access to university). 

The school where I work is a relatively small school with 800 pupils, aged 12-18. The school offers many intellectual challenges for pupils and extra possibilities where they can (further) develop skills and knowledge. 

I teach pupils in their first year at this school. The problem I encounter is that pupils ask a lot of questions about the tasks they are doing. When I go over to help them, they already had the correct solution, but just want to hear from me that it is correct. Some pupils come to my desk at the beginning of the lesson, totally in panic, afraid that they misunderstood their homework. When I take a look at their work, it is about a small issue. So I get the impression that my pupils are uncertain about themselves, because they seek confirmation.

In my opinion, it is the task of a teacher to help pupils not only with subject knowledge, but also guide them in their personal development and their feeling of self-confidence, as this will help them throughout their lives.


How can I help pupils to become more self-confident?


  • I will look at the literature, especially psychological development of adolescents (tool 35)
  • talk to the pedagogical expert in the school (tool 9, 21)
  • interview pupils (tool 13)