Students know what makes them feel good about themselves and what makes them feel successful. When I asked my students what makes them feel good here’s what they said:
- Smile when you see me.
- Call me by my name.
- Listen to me when I talk.
- Let me know that you missed me when I was absent.
- Recognize my own special talents even if they don’t show up on my report card.
- Give me a chance to succeed in at least one small way each day.
- Praise me when I do something well.
- If you do not like something I do, please help me understand that you still like me as a person.
- Respect me even if I still struggle to respect others and myself.
- Show me that I have a lot of options for the future, and that I can set my own goals.
- Encourage me to aim high. Always.
Try to reach a young person with these self-esteem builders every day. High self-esteem builds stronger people and stronger communities. Remember, students experiencing success, even if small, is key to motivation. Motivation is key to learning.