COLUMN: Confidence starts in the classroom

The first piecel from the Peace Arch News' new column, Youth Voice, written by lifelong Surrey resident, Japreet Lehal.

Hello Peach Arch News readers.

This new column – Youth Voice – will revolve around ideas and issues that affect the youth in our community. As a first-year SFU student and lifelong resident of Surrey, I feel honoured to discuss these issues on behalf of youth.

School time is an opportunity for one to learn great things and instil knowledge in one’s mind.

However, it is also an opportunity for one to build self-confidence and self-esteem – traits that will help an individual achieve lifelong success.

Participation in class is one of the most effective ways to develop the ability to speak in front of a group.

Though a shy attitude might prevent some from speaking up, it is imperative that one start to overcome this attitude, and develop a self-confident personality.

Confidence in public speaking will ensure students can truly express their opinions and give feedback. This not only translates into an active student, but also allows a person to become a leader.

As anyone in university or college can attest, participation is a vital part of almost any class.

Aside from the better grade that will be reflected on the report card, having a knack for speaking in elementary and secondary school helps a student build good speaking skills early on in an academic career.

As a student spends nearly five to six hours in the classroom, students have a great opportunity to explore their speaking skills and maximize their input in class discussions.

It may take students some time to become comfortable, nevertheless, once students start talking and discussing in class, they will immediately notice that they are becoming more engaged with course content, and less likely to fall asleep while the teacher is talking.

Though, initially, speaking up might make some students feel uncomfortable amongst their peers, the fear will soon subside.

For students who would like to further refine their public-speaking skills, there are also school district opportunities in speech meets and competitions.  Students should contact their schools for further details.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson nicely puts it, “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

Japreet Lehal writes monthly for Peace Arch News on youth issues.