Change class atmosphere to boost confidence for all

Change class atmosphere to boost confidence for all

Sofia Santana-Skites, Opinion Editor

Take a plunge.

Students need to take risks and accept failure as a part of life. Those who do are more likely to accomplish their long-term goals. There is a great disparity between the confidence levels of boys and girls regarding academic performance.

While society teaches boys to take chances, girls feel they have to aim for perfection and achieve nothing less. Due to male dominance in most aspects of society, women feel that they must take extra performance measures in order to compensate for the power imbalance. Women often do work just as hard–if not harder–than men in order to succeed, but their need for perfection creates an unhealthy mentality that can actually create more obstacles. For most women, this mentality begins during high school years.

The Always #LikeAGirl campaign explains that girls’ self-confidence plummets during puberty. It is essential that during the years when all students are developing into young adults people see past each other’s gender differences and create an environment in which everyone is comfortable voicing their opinions.

According to an HBR report, men will apply for a job if they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications. Women, on the other hand, will only apply if they meet every last condition. Reshma Saujani mentions this in a TED Talk as she discusses the lack of bravery in growing girls.

This is an evident problem even at ETHS. Think about your classes. You may notice that boys raise their hands more often than girls. Math teacher Robert Su notices that girls are more anxious about their grades than boys. He wants all his students to understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Spanish teacher Iciar Niharra doesn’t notice behavioral differences between genders in her classes because they are typically female-dominated, especially in the upper levels.

Regardless of the class, all students should feel comfortable making mistakes and taking risks. The only way we boost confidence is by changing the atmosphere in all classes. We must allow girls to be fearless and fail; only then can there be success.