One keeps reading frequently the news stories about corporal punishment of children, violation of human dignity of girl students in schools, mass failure of students of government schools, discrimination of children on the basis of their caste and socio-economic status for which schools and teachers need to be blamed since they continue to hurt the self-esteem of children.
Our schools and teachers need to become the custodians of self-esteem of children to help them develop as worthy and dignified individuals. It has been rightly said by Louise Hart, “Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.”
Many studies have shown that it is the loss of self-esteem of children that makes them drop out of the school. In other words, schools that do not work on building self-esteem of children, push them out of the school.
Both parents and well-meaning educators expect that school experiences and classroom climate should help children develop a sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
First, teachers need to enhance the sense of worth and belonging among children by trusting their innate abilities and nurturing them. First thing is that classroom should be seen as a community of learners and all children equally respected member of that community.
Secondly, teach children the social skills to develop healthy relationships and friendship. Encourage your children to talk about their concerns and problems making friends.
Thirdly, a positive approach by giving responsibilities in participatory management and purity of learning process, teachers should link discipline with building of self-esteem in children.
Teacher should never use negative words and corporal punishment to correct children. Rather, the teacher should focus on your child’s behavior, not the child.
Moreover, teachers should encourage communication by actively listening to children so that children can repose their trust in the teacher regarding their problems and difficulties in learning.
Provide the success experiences by facilitating and supporting children’s innate potential to learn. Success in learning or a sense of accomplishment is a great self-motivator for children to learn more. It has been aptly said by Thomas Carlyle, “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
In a nutshell, self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable, as Jack Canfield puts it. Based upon the foregoing and my own experience as teacher, I have worked out a model of self-esteem development in children that can be seen in the in-set picture.