11 Mistakes Teachers Make That Lowers Their Students’ Confidence

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“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”

― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Every human being is different and so are the methods of teaching them. Although it is very subjective to say which method is correct and which is not, there are a few methods which are certainly under the scanner and one should avoid them.

Here are some mistakes that you might be making, that is unknowingly lowering your students’ confidence:

1. Bursting out of annoyance

When a student is trying to avoid the work, passing time looking here and there in the class, disturbing other students or not understanding the topics promptly, a teacher gets irritated and starts shouting at the student. This outburst hinders the basic growth and understanding of students and sometimes also affects them mentally. Students who get used to teachers’ yelling habit, do not bother listening to them and hence become perverse.

2. No appreciation or motivation

Not appreciating sincere efforts at the right time results in de-motivation. Every student must be appreciated appropriately for their hard work. The appreciation does not necessarily have to be materialistic in nature however it can also be given in other forms, like pleasant motivating words, tags, stickers, stars or smileys in books or on hands, applause by other students in class etc. In our Cuemath classes, we give a little extra tab time as an incentive for target achievement. This motivates the children to accomplish things on hand and grow further. A sense of healthy competition gets developed in the class which in turn benefits all the students gradually.

3. Not understanding students’ requirement

Generally, teachers teach all their students at par using the same method. However, an ideal teacher teaches the students by understanding their needs because every student is different in terms of caliber. Some students are good at writing, some like reading, some are keen observers, and some are keen listeners. Likewise, some students also lack some of these qualities but this does not mean that the students are incapable of doing anything. The only focus is on the way of teaching. Students should be given personalized attention wherever needed to build up their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.

4. Comparison

There is a very thin line of difference between competition and comparison in a class. A healthy competition always motivates students to perform better in order to get appreciated in the class. Whereas a comparison always demotivates the student by stressing them out. The students who are always compared with others for not doing something, starts thinking that they are not capable of doing it. This stress may make the children rebellious in the class or turn them up towards misleading groups, which further degrades their future. Therefore a teacher should always avoid comparisons and create healthy competitions.

5. Disrespecting students

As a teacher you should be affable and treat your students with respect. When you behave considerately with the students, they would be interested to listen to you and are bound to behave positively. It is always easy to react in anger and talk disrespectfully to students but it’s after-effects would be harmful. A good teacher is always known to be patient with the students. They always take time, think upon the situation and give appropriate feedback to the students.
As the famous saying goes ‘Words are the most powerful weapon in this world available to mankind ‘, hence use them with caution.

6. No proper communication with parents

Parents (or Guardian) play a very important role in a student’s life. Their support is essential for the all-round development of a student. If a teacher does not give the exact details of a student’s behavior and performance in the class to their parents, then it would b difficult for the parents to take further steps for the appropriate growth of their child. This reminds me of a story : ‘There was a play school where teachers were instructed to draw, write and do other activities on behalf of the kids to show to their parents how well the kids are performing in the school. And the parents used to be very impressed by seeing their kids’ performance. This style of image building is a very common phenomenon. However, this way of manipulating the parents does not work in the long run. As a result, the school got shut down.’ Hence, as a teacher, it is our duty to convey the right information about the students to their parents.

7. Labeling students

As the Cuemath CEO Mr. Manan Khurma says, a teacher should never make the mistake of labeling their students- ‘’intelligent’’, ‘’dull’’, ‘’slow’’, ‘’lazy’’, ‘’disobedient’’ etc. When you label a student, they start assuming, that they are like those labels and there is no need to work hard. An intelligent student starts thinking that he/she is already intelligent and thus there is no point in further improvement. A lazy student starts agreeing that laziness is their characteristic which cannot be changed. Instead of labeling students, a teacher should use motivating phrases like, ‘Keep it up’, ‘Well-done’, ‘Nice going’, ‘Keep on trying’, ‘Be on time’, ‘Keep working hard’ etc.  ‘Be on time’ will always be perceived positively than ‘You are late’.

8. Irregular checking of workbooks

Workbooks should be checked regularly for correct assessment of student’s mistakes. If a student comes to know of his mistake in the first worksheet after the completion of his 10th worksheet, then this delayed feedback is of no use. He would not be able to remember what he has done so many days back. Delayed rectification of mistakes also lead to recurrence of them. This will hinder the growth of students.

9. Failure to set relevance

It is very necessary to relate what you are teaching to the real-world applications. This helps a student to establish relevance for his/her studies. One of my KG class student asked me, ‘Why do we need to do addition or subtraction?’ Then I started relating her mathematical questions to real life situations which struck her interest. For example, ‘Your father gave you Rs. 20/-. You went to a book store and purchased two pencils for a total of Rs.10/-. Now how would you calculate that how much money you should take back from the shopkeeper? This is called subtraction. The students find it interesting because they take pocket money, buy things, save extra money in their piggy bank on daily basis but did not know that this process involves addition and subtraction. Here they connect their studies with its real use. Hence, it is always important to establish the significance of teaching.

10. There should be no monologue

Sometimes the teacher does monologue in class. As a result, the class as a whole lacks in inquisitiveness. Students don’t know that they have to ask questions when they have a doubt or concern.A teacher should always encourage dialogue and make the class interactive so as to nurture the creativity and imagination in students.

11. Teacher should not create unnecessary pressure on students

Sometimes teachers teach the class by assuming the capability of the brightest student in class as a baseline. Rather teachers should keep the baseline at the level of weakest student and try to uplift every student of class.


A teacher helps building the future of the students. Though every teacher is not perfect , we can work towards the improvement of teaching ways incorporated in India. All we need to do is self-analyses and self-realization. The better we understand our students, the better we can guide them.

‘A student is like a clay which should be given a meaningful shape by the teacher.’

Learn from the best math teachers and top your exams

  • Live one on one classroom and doubt clearing
  • Practice worksheets in and after class for conceptual clarity
  • Personalized curriculum to keep up with school