Teachers can play a vital role in helping students tap into and trust that inner sense of curiosity. If fostered, not only will students gain a greater degree of confidence in themselves and their abilities, they’ll also hold on to that sense of wonder that they initially possessed.
Here’s why it’s so important for teachers to nurture curiosity and confidence in order to inspire students.
Unlock Hidden Potential
Many people have pondered over what the correct formula is to unlocking hidden potential in individuals. There is strong support for the case that it is in fact fostering curiosity and thereby building upon confidences which are essential ingredients required to achieve this aim.
What’s the connection between curiosity, confidence, and potential, you ask? Each of these three qualities is intricately related. A healthy sense of curiosity is absolutely essential in order to push boundaries. Naturally curious individuals are confident in their abilities to constantly push barriers in pursuit of greater understanding. Through this process, an individual comes to understand what they’re capable of, and how much more they can challenge themselves.
You can only realize your potential if you push your boundaries. For students, curiosity is the muscle power needed to do all that heavy pushing. And confidence that builds each time you exercise those muscles.
Explore Unchartered Intellectual Vistas
As a teacher, encouraging your students to retain their sense of curiosity and wonder has so many benefits. A curious student is one who isn’t afraid to explore unchartered intellectual vistas. These individuals are less likely to be deterred by new concepts and unfamiliar things. In order for a student to intellectually stretch their wings, they must not be afraid to take flight.
One of the most empowering things a teacher can do for a student is encourage their curiosity and increase their confidence. This very literally gives them the wings they need to soar.
Encourage Deeper Understanding
Curiosity also encourages individuals to dig deeper and question everything. This whole process is carried out in order to develop a deeper, more thorough understanding of things.
In order to even want to gain a deeper understanding of how anything work a student must not be afraid to probe. There are some teachers who do not encourage questioning, and therefore stifle curiosity. This is one of the most harmful things a student can be exposed to. If students don’t know how beneficial it is to indulge in their curiosity, they’ll only ever gain a superficial understanding of things.
If, on the other hand, students are encouraged along the path of curiosity, their whole understanding of the world will deepen. They will seek out the answers to questions they want answered simply for the sake of building upon their knowledge. Knowledge for knowledge sake is an endeavor which can only ever be fruitful.
Challenge leads to Growth and Innovation
Another one of the long term benefits of encouraging curiosity and confidence in students is what these traits will enable them to achieve once they enter the real world. Curiosity and confidence are vital when it comes to challenging yourself, or when tackling challenges. Armed with a sense of curiosity, problems become exciting to solve; students have a vested interest in getting to the bottom of the ‘mystery’ that has presented itself.
Having confidence in their abilities will ensure that they stick to what they’re doing until they’ve found a solution. It breeds a sense of perseverance which all but ensures that no challenge is big enough to daunt them into a sense of cowardice of complacency. Their confidence in their ability to test each piece of the puzzle until they find the perfect fit will ensure that they see tasks through to completion, and come to effective solutions.
These challenges are typically the impetus to growth and innovation, two things which are vital in almost every facet of life.
Undaunted in the face of obstacles
Curiosity and confidence are two traits which go hand in hand; where there’s one, the other must naturally follow. For teachers, encouraging curiosity is the first step in building students’ confidence. Each time students find themselves facing a challenge of any sort they let their curiosity help them in order to find a solution.
The first couple of times this is done, the process may feel alien and daunting. They may be riddled with a torrent of doubts: ‘Can I actually do this?’, ‘What if I fail?’, ‘What if I’m going in circles?’ etc. At this point, teachers can play a pivotal role in helping students to drown out that internal self-sabotaging rhetoric and press on in search of solutions. The simple act of encouragement can do wonders for a student who is learning to actively use their curiosity to their benefit.
Each time a student is encouraged to let their curiosity guide them, their confidence in their own abilities will increase. That internal chorus of doubt will get fainter and fainter, and these individuals will find themselves undaunted in the face of obstacles.
Encourages Effective Thinking
Effective thinking may be defined differently by people but essentially, it entails using your powers of reason to work through a problem or a challenge. As a teacher, you’re probably familiar with numerous different students with different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. You may have noticed that those students who are timid in their use of curiosity are less accustomed to thinking effectively and critically.
On the other hand, those students who have been encouraged to use their curiosity will find their minds getting into gear anytime they are required to solve a problem or challenge. Their brain begins asking a slew of questions which may help them find the answers they’re looking for.
Curiosity and confidence also enable students to have the courage to think outside the box. These are all essential tools when it comes to effective, critical thinking.
The end result: resilience
There is no end to the benefits a student can reap from a healthy sense of curiosity and confidence in their abilities. As a teacher, nurturing these skills in a student is the key to helping them develop resilience in the face of challenges. These are students who are more likely to succeed when they leave school and enter the real world.
Students look up to their teachers. These young, impressionable minds enter classrooms and are deeply influenced by their teachers. If you stifle their natural curiosity, their confidence will suffer, and they will be less likely to be as resilient in the face of challenges. If on the other hand you inspire students to trust their natural instincts, you’ll help a number of students to realize their potential.
Curiosity and the confidence it fosters are powerful tools for any individual to have. Teachers are in the perfect position to act as the whetstone on which students can sharpen their natural tools.