Tips for students to find self-esteem and confidence in the classroom

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Whether you’re currently in school or not, we all know those certain students who never seem to have a problem getting good grades and being motivated.  But for some students, school can be pretty challenging, even seeming impossible at times.

Joining us Saturday on Good Morning Connecticut, Michelle Sagalyn, the founder of Successful Study Skills 4 Students, to discuss resiliency, confidence, and self-esteem in students — why some might not have it and what they can do to get it.

According to Sagalyn, research suggests that high levels of self-esteem are linked to high levels of motivation.  With the right study skills, students will have more confidence about themselves and their ability to reach their potential.

To watch the full interview, click on the video above where News 8’s Stephanie Simoni and Michelle Sagalyn touch upon many of the points included below:

Why A Student May Not Have Confidence

Students may lose confidence if they don’t know how to:

  • Organize materials: they don’t know how to organize their materials and notes
  • Manage time: so they cram or rush to finish a project
  • Prepare for class and tests: they don’t realize that time can work to their advantage of they know how to plan and break apart their work
  • Apply executive functioning strategies: break assignments apart into smaller manageable chunks

Signs A Student Might Suffer From School-Related Low Self-Confidence

  • Easily overwhelmed and stressed
  • Easily irritable
  • Lacks motivation
  • Experiences test anxiety
  • Gives up trying when grades don’t reflect the time spent studying

What And Who It Affects

  • The student: academic responsibilities hang over them like a dark shadow.
  • The family: Conflicts arise when students don’t live up to parent’s expectations –especially when the parent knows that their child is fully capable of doing better.
  • Teachers, classrooms and schools: college and career ready. To achieve these objectives, teachers and school administrators want their students to be actively engaged with both their studies and school community life. In the classroom, when study skills are underdeveloped the whole class can suffer. The teacher must take time from direct instruction of content to teach basic skills.

What Students Can Do To Get It

  1. Assess yourself: Figure out what you did well and where you need improvement gives you the power to fix your mistakes and move forward
  2. Get into a good schoolwork routine: Getting into a study routine will provide you with a rhythm and a structure that will make studying easier.
  3. Learn and practice good study skills: Learning study skills and applying them correctly are critical to the development of your confidence.
  4. Recognize your efforts and achievements: Confidence can grow from success—but don’t mistake perfection for success. 

How can student be better prepared for the next academic year and finals?

They should learn how to study:

  • Organize
  • Use executive functioning skills
  • Take notes when reading and listening
  • Manage and plan their time 

How was Successful Study Skills 4 Students started?

  • Organization was founded when it became apparent that my own two children, straight A students prior to transitioning to 6th and 9th grade, didn’t know how to study.
  • Working with a team of highly committed, passionate and dedicated teachers, we created the evidence-based S4 Study Skills program 5 years ago.
  • We have since worked with almost 3,000 area students.
  • Public, independent, and parochial, typically host of as an afterschool program exclusively for their students
  • This summer, however, any student can register to over 40 workshops held all over the area New Haven and Fairfield Counties, up through Hartford

What kind of results can students expect after they learn how to study?

  • Better grades
  • Better engagement
  • Better prepared for classes, tests, projects
  • Increased focus and motivation
  • Increased independence
  • Increased confidence
  • Reduced anxiety and stress

How can student be better prepared for the next academic year?

They should learn how to study:

  • Organize
  • Use executive functioning skills
  • Take notes when reading and listening
  • Manage and plan their time

What do you tell kids who say they don’t want to take a class during the summer – that summer is vacation time? What do the kids say about your program?

  • Of course some students are reluctant to take a summer class.
  • But our classes are highly interactive and engaging.
  • One of the most common complaints we hear from students is that the workshops are not long enough.

How can parents find out more information on your workshops?, call 203-418-2003 or email.

Do you have any free resources? Yes, we have several free ebooks. To get them, go to


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