Did you know that students can improve their grades, simply by learning how to manage their inner voice? The inner voice is made up of thoughts or feelings expressed as internal utterances that warn, criticize, or advise you. Many people move mindlessly through their day with this inner chatter constantly guiding their mood, attention, and behavior, but we can learn to take control.
How Can One's Inner Voice Help with Academics?
The inner voice is a powerful presence that can either take one’s attention away from the subject at hand or help one to mindfully maintain attention to an external task. In fact, the inner voice works hand in hand with one’s inner eye (visualization) to make up working memory; and research now suggests that working memory predicts success in reading as well as all other aspects of learning, regardless of intelligence.
So How Can We Help Students to Manage their Inner Voice and Use it to Improve Academics?
- Educate your students - Explain to your students how managing one’s inner voice can improve attention and working memory. Introduce them to the idea of mindfulness.
- Exhibit changing your own inner thoughts by thinking aloud - Share your own negative thoughts and fears and show them how you can reword these negative words to more positive comments that can trigger motivation and resilience.
- Tame the inner critic - The critical inner voice that speaks to us, feeds self-limiting thoughts and attitudes can prevent us from achieving our goals. Students need to become aware of any negative inner messages and choose to recognize, understand the influence, respond back, and change their voice from critic to coach.
- Choose to nurture an overall positive inner voice - Instead of pointing out limitations, one can train their inner voice to support and foster academic and personal success.
- Encourage students to keep a journal of free-flowing thoughts about their academic achievement - When your students write about any negative thoughts or fears, encourage them to respond to these discouraging words with how they would like or choose to think. For example, if they write, “I think I’m going to fail my math test.” Have them respond to that thought or fear by writing, “I choose to ace my math test.” Then they can write about what they can do to try to make this happen.
- Hold group discussions - At least once a semester, ask your students to share any concerns or fears they harbor about your class. Help them to come up with solutions and encourage them to think positively about their abilities.
- Teach your students to use their inner voice to improve learning - Using one’s inner voice to internally rehearse information and make connections can improve the encoding of information. If they visualize the content at the same time, memory improves even more.
Dr. Erica Warren, Learning Specialist & Educational Therapist
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
· Blog www.learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com
· YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/warrenerica1
· Podcast: https://godyslexia.com/
Newsletter Sign-up: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/69400