By Peggy James
Self-esteem is an essential quality of a successful student. A
student without confidence in their own ability to learn will not learn
to their full potential. A student without self-confidence can be an
easy target for bullies and will seldom take risks reaching out socially
or academically. Taking these types of chances gives students
opportunities to grow, so this growth is limited in kids with a lower
By integrating ideas of acceptance, tolerance, and
personal safety into our daily teaching, we can arm students with the
confidence to learn anything. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think
you can, or think you can’t–you’re usually right.” This week, I am
looking at resources and activities that will help students think they
Joann introduces three resources in her column (linked below)
to help you include the study of self-esteem in your classroom. She
presents an interesting discussion about finding quality lessons that
aren’t too “fluffy” or “touchy-feely.”
Although slightly on the
“touchy-feely” side, I really like the visual reminders about
self-esteem from the book, “Have you filled a bucket today?” Learning to
Give developed a self-esteem and anti-bullying lesson based on the
book. Their lesson, Buckets of Kindness
is a nice introduction to the topic and the bucket theme can be carried
on throughout the year in discussions of self-esteem, kindness, and
Since every group of students is different, I recommend
searching the Gateway for a perfect self-esteem curriculum for you.
There are all different types. My initial search for self-esteem pulled
up these 79 resources. Remember that you can narrow your search many different ways to find just what you need.
Are you interested in a high school lesson? Narrow your search by grade to find something like Chalk it Up: Self-Esteem, an activity that uses events and themes from the classic story of the Three Little Pigs to explore the topic.
your students need an activity that gets them moving? Narrow your
search by subject area (physical education) to find resources like Self-Esteem Builder from PE Central.
are many different ways to narrow your search, so I’ll let you find
what’s right for you. As you prepare to teach the topic, you may want to
read the following inspirational poem. Good luck developing self-esteem
in your students this week!
The Victor by C. W. Longenecker
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks