Exactly What Is Self-Esteem? – Teacher’s Corner


Teacher’s Corner
We all want our students to have high self-esteem.
The first step toward helping students develop high self-esteem is to be clear about what high self- esteem looks like.
Self-esteem is NOT and what we should steer our students away from …
  • A “you-owe-me” attitude
  • Expecting everything to be handed to them
  • Being full of themselves
  • Expecting to get away with misbehavior or mistakes
  • Never feeling sorry, sad, or afraid
Self-esteem MEANS and what we should encourage in our students …
  • Knowing that they are cared about, no matter what
  • Knowing that they can do things for themselves and can gradually grow to be independent
  • Knowing what the rules of life are that will help them live, work, and play with others
  • Knowing there are consequences for what they do
  • Being responsible enough to pay the consequences for what they do
  • Knowing that people will still care about them even when they make mistakes
  • Believing they can find ways to make up for their mistakes 
After the prompts we have included suggestions regarding ways to use this blog in your classroom and why this blog can be a useful tool in your classroom.  So, get your students to think, pair, and share and see what develops.
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics you can use with your students about self-esteem.
  1. What do you think a person your age is like when he or she has LOW self-esteem?
  2. What do you think a person your age is like when he or she has HIGH self-esteem?
  3. What are two things teachers and other adults can do to encourage students to have high self-esteem and be like the person you described in #2 above? 
NOTE: If you prefer that students not be required to write about or discuss themselves, suggest they respond to the prompts by talking about their experiences with friends or relatives instead of themselves.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
    • Use the blog for discussion topics
    • Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
  2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
  • Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
  • Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
  • Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
  • What would be your advice on this topic?
  • What was left out of this article?
  • If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
  • Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
  • Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
  • The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.

What do you think?

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