As you know, I teach college English. Most of my students are going into technical fields where they believe they won’t need to “write” and they come into class “disliking” the class (before we’ve even started!)
The first thing I do is get that attitude out of their heads. I always tell them: If you think you’re going to suck at it, then you probably will. But if you say “hey I’m going to work at this and take advantage of the fact that I have a teacher here willing to help me succeed, then maybe I can learn to be a better writer.”
It’s amazing (and gratifying to me) to see, over the years, how many students have come up to me and said: “Ms. Hofmann this was one of my favorite classes. I learn more than I ever thought I could and wrote the best essay I’ve ever written.” It’s part of why I teach and why I won’t let negative attitudes in my classroom! I know all my students, with the right attitude, can succeed!