Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Self Esteem

I hope all the staff and students enjoyed the presentation we had in the commons last week with LeDerick Horne. Labeled as neurologically impaired in third grade, LeDerick defies any and all labels. He's a dynamic spoken-word poet. A tireless advocate for all people with disabilities. An inspiring motivational speaker. LeDerick spoke about overcoming obstacles, self-advocacy and self acceptance. He also spoke about self-esteem.

Personally, I believe self-esteem or the lack of self esteem in our students is a major problem in today's society.  It effects each student in so many ways. First of all, let me explain self-esteem. Taken from the California State Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem, they say self-esteem is: Appreciating my own worth and importance and having the character to be accountable for myself and to act responsibly toward others. Self-esteem is not loving ourselves and thinking we are great. It is how we perceive ourselves, our self concept. Self-esteem and emotional intelligence have a direct correlation to the issue of academic achievement.

Why is low self-esteem such a problem today? How did we get this way? Well, according to research done by the Quest Foundation in Columbus, Ohio, students encounter the equivalent of 60 days each year of reprimanding, nagging and punishment. During 12 years of schooling a student is subjected to 15,000 negative statements per year. That is three times the number of positive statements received. Is it any wonder that students feel they are "bad", "incapable,""losers," etc.? The good news is that all of us can help. Students, parents, teachers, staff, etc... Students can engage with other students in a positive manner. Stop the put downs and insults. Quit the bullying and making fun of others. Say good things about the other students or don't say anything at all. Believe in yourself. Think positive thoughts. Henry Ford once said, "whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right". As for the parents, teachers and staff. Let's model what we want to see from our young adults. Let's be positive with them. When they are absent, tell them we missed them, don't ask why they are always missing school. Encourage the smallest accomplishments. Help them set goals and push them to reach them.

This blog could go on and on. I will touch on self-esteem again in the future. If you would like further information on it, there is a great book called "Self-Esteem and Emotional Intelligence. The Necessary Ingredients for Success" by Sandi Redenbach. Now would be a great time to order it from the Media Center as Mrs Knodel prepares for our big upcoming book sale. Also, remember we start our Toys for Tots drive soon. Stay tuned for announcements on this great school wide event. Haiti Carnival is this coming Monday before Thanksgiving break. WOW! We are going to be busy and then Thanksgiving break. Take care!

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