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Why you should raise your hand in class, *even* if you're nervous

Are you a little shy when it comes to raising your hand in class? If so, that’s *totally* normal. We’ve been there. With all attention on you, it can be intimidating to speak up—especially when participation counts toward your final grade. Eek! 

If you can break through your fear of participation, we promise the benefits outweigh the doom looming over you. Here are a few reasons why raising your hand is actually worth the struggle.

You'll realize the power of being wrong
Nobody is judging you. Seriously. Nobody is right all of the time, and your teacher will be happy that you’re participating and will not punish you for being wrong. It’s all a part of learning.

You'll clarify concepts you don't understand
If you answer a question incorrectly, your teacher will be able to explain why you were wrong and you'll learn something new in the process. Chances are, other students thought the same thing as you, but didn’t speak up. Not only did you help yourself, but you helped your too-timid classmates, too. 

Your teacher will know you’re interested in learning
Participating in class signals that you’re actually interested and not, say, falling asleep behind your textbook. This is beneficial to you *and* your teacher. Your teacher will appreciate your interaction during the lesson and will remember your enthusiasm the next time you’re one point away from an A+. 

You'll have fun debating with your classmates
When you and other classmates are raising hands to answer questions, it makes the class more interesting. Instead of your teacher standing at the front of the room talking nonstop for an entire class period and you passively taking it in, a discussion allows you to actively engage with the lesson. Bonus: Class time will fly by and your mind won’t be wandering to the clock every 5 minutes. 

You’ll know that you actually learned the material
One of the best ways to prove that you actually know something is by talking about it. Relaying information back during class in your own words verifies that you have a grasp on what you’ve been taught. 

Still stuck? If you don’t want to raise your hand because you don’t think you know the material, maybe take some extra time to look over your notes while you’re doing homework. It’s perfectly fine to not always have the answer, but use this as an opportunity to measure your strengths and weaknesses on class topics. 

Have you gotten over the fear of raising your hand in class? Tell us how in the comments!

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by Jacqueline Burnett | 2/13/2017
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