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Self Esteem

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Katy2605, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Hi all, I am an NQT in a year 2 class and I am considerably worried about my children's self esteem. For a class full of six year olds they are very down on themselves. The school is in a very deprived area with social deprivation but I am determined to raise the self esteem of my children. I have banned lots of words e.g. 'can't' and ' I am rubbish', and continually spend most of my day praising but I feel this is not enough. So, next week I am dedicating a whole afternoon to self esteem building exercises etc. Just wondered if anyone has had experience of this before and if anyone has some good ideas for activities that I could use. I have thought of some circle time etc activities but could really do with some more.
    Thank you in advance for any help.
  2. purplepixie

    purplepixie New commenter

    Look at the book "101 Games for Self Esteem". In fact anything by Jenny Mosley! Also take a look at ********** for good resources and the website PrimaryResources.
    Good luck, I hope they start to feel better about themselves! Poor little things!
  3. I would suggest rather than spending one afternoon on this, looking at game suggestions and Jenny Mosley circle time and activities and trying to fit them in as many times a week as you can in short bursts, or incorporate into other lessons.
    The reason for this is that these types of game won't have an instant magical effect. Just a warning that it will take lots of continual input to raise their self esteem - so don't expect instant results.
  4. Bless them! Some of my children have the opposite problem!!
    I used to have a star of the week, and each child had to say/write one thing good about that person at the end of the week. It really worked because sometimes kids would say, "that's not true" but you could tell that they were over the moon with the comments. I think if children are being directed to think of positive qualities in others, it will make them more accepting of positive comments about themselves.
  5. Oh and the other thing is that praise from peers has much more impact than praise from the teacher; I think children can come to expect it from teachers in a way, and therefore might not take it all on board as genuine. Also more impactful is indirect praise; within the child's earshot, praise them to an LSA or a colleague. That way they think you really mean it!
  6. I made star books for everyone. Each page has 2 stars on it and through a term they fill in a star each week during registration. They have to write about something they have done that they are proud of. At the beginning I get lots telling me they can't think of anything to write but after a few weeks they get the idea and it's a nice thing for them to look back on when they feel down.
  7. I can see how your heart must ache for them.

    Have you tried a Collaborative Reward Systems within the class? This can promote a culture of praise and positivity and encourage peer praise and affirmation. With a Collaborative Reward System everyone is working together to achieve a reward and everyone is given the opportunity to nominate others. Children can offer other children a token (a marble to put in a jar, small sticky star to add to a sky backdrop, a leaf to add to a tree) to or children can offer the adult a token not just the adult with the power to give tokens. When the system is introduced you need to decide how many tokens need to be collected by the class to receive the reward and what the time span is. It may be that you say in the morning that you are going to see if you can get 20 tokens by the end of the day and if they do the reward will be to end the day with a story. It is helpful to stop at different times during the day to allow children to nominate each other for rewards. When the time is up the tokens are counted to see if the group as achieved its goal and can receive its reward. It is important that the rewards are simple but motivating and that all the group take part in the reward even if they did not get any tokens. This can encourage the whole class to praise each other and the power of peer praise can be released.
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    research out today is pushing the importance of outdoors activities to self esteem, can you garden with them? Then cook with the results?
  9. Earl Davids wife

    Earl Davids wife New commenter

    Please think twice before supporting **********. He's a twice convicted and twice jailed paedophile and there's something ironic about schools using resources produced by a........... paedophile [​IMG]
  10. Children's self esteem doesn't tend to be raised by praise, it is raised by knowing that they have succeeded. There is a great book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Shirley Clarke quotes her all the time. She talks about changing from a 'fixed' mindset to a 'growth' mindset. It is too in depth to go into on here, but the emphasis is on effort and improvement, not attainment. I have used it in my class, and there is a measurable improvement in the self esteem of the children. They know that effort leads to success and they are not afraid of making mistakes. This isn't about set activities, it is a whole change in the things you do and say. Children are praised very specifically. Praise is saved for effort, and not achievement.

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