Self–esteem, very simply, is how you see yourself!!
Your self image is built on how you evaluate your own life.
Across age groups very often one hears, I deserve better than this !!
Adolescents are bracing through a roller coaster of emotions .On one day they are on the top of the world and the lowest of low the very next day.
In today’s fast paced world, one must be exuberant in displaying confidence in order to survive. Self esteem comes not from what others think of you but what you think of yourself.
Academic and peer pressures, keeping up with family norms are but a few of the burdens today’s teens carry on their tiny shoulders.
A teenager with a low self esteem often suffers from anxiety disorders. There is a constant feeling of insecurity. They may seek attention with behaviors ranging from bullying, cheating to showing suicidal tendencies.
All this does affect their academic performance.
Teenagers with high self esteem generally feel good about themselves. They are open to new experiences, develop skill sets to succeed in life and are secure in their own identity.
While high self-esteem is not the only factor for academic achievements, it surely helps them to get there. Family upbringing, affluence, healthy outlook, school environment, socio-cultural influences are contributing factors. Under similar backgrounds there is negligible change in the performances of girls and boys.
In my teaching experience with adolescents there were many issues I had to tackle, before I broke ice with the students. I am part of a team which conducts courses in Conversational English in various schools where the children come from the lower strata. Albeit having studied in English medium the opportunity for the students to speak in English is minimal.
Fear of being ridiculed if one made a mistake was the main reason, I found, they were not forthcoming. Bullies often disrupted the class.
With a lot of coaxing and cajoling, enacting role plays, conducting quiz programs and with reaffirmation in every session that they will help one another and not ridicule, has contributed to the success of the courses. The students eagerly await us to learn in the play way method.
As parents and teachers we have to help children focus on their strengths by directing them towards the things they can do. Encourage them to develop hobbies and interests.
Self esteem fluctuates as the child develops an overall view of himself with the environment. It functions as a guide to decide what to be and what to do in the future.
Students who are the future citizens have to be provided with equal opportunity. The government must fund remedial programmers for the students in need. Guidance and counseling centers must be easily accessible.
“The real legacy in life is not what we achieve in the end, but how we relate to life along the way”
Jamuna Rajagopal aims to make a difference in the lives of her students. She enjoys listening to music and solve Sudoku in her free time.