Here are some of the signs of low self-esteem I notice in my teenage students:
• They can be pessimistic and negative in their outlook
• They put themselves down with negative self-talk
• They compare themselves to others in negative ways
• They don't seem proud of their achievements
What other signs have you noticed? I came up with about 15 things in my self-esteem resource! You can catch a glimpse of the PowerPoint below:
Here are some things I do with my students to help build their resilience and grit, I hope they help you!
Stop and swap
Get them to start recognising when they hear negative self-talk and then replace it with something like the power of "yet". Here's an example that I hear a lot:
Student: "I can't draw... I can't do this... It's too hard."
Me: "Maybe you think you can't draw YET, but try out these tricks I just showed you and see how you get on!"
You might find you have to start doing it for them at first like I had to, just so they can get used to recognising the sound and frequency of their own self-talk. For some this will be a completely new thing for them. I have also encouraged my students to do this for each other too in a supportive way. I'll suddenly hear "Ah- ah- ah- ah- remember... YET!" while students are working together! It's actually really sweet watching them do this for each other! I've discovered that by helping my students gain self-awareness that they are speaking negatively about themselves, it makes a big difference in helping them develop some grit and resilience in all areas of their lives, not just in the classroom.
Celebrate and succeed
Secondly, I like to encourage my students to focus on their achievements. I've noticed students with self-esteem issues often can't appreciate their own success. Therefore it's important to get them reflecting on how far they've come and display it somewhere where they can be proudly reminded every day. For example, I have my students create a "success banner" that can either be displayed up in the classroom, or they can even take it home if they prefer to keep it more private. This banner highlights 5 things they are really proud of (not just academically) and then one goal they are working towards next!
If you want some resources to implement straight away in your classroom on self-esteem and resilience, you can check out my Character Education lessons below. They all come with a PowerPoint, Printables and Task Cards!
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I truly believe if we help our students battle the negative self-talk on a daily basis, then we will really see a significant increase in both their attainment and emotional well-being.
For more on how I teach Character to teens, check out this page!
How do you help to develop resilience and grit in your classroom? Leave a comment below, I'd love to chat more!