Self esteem is an important property in life which should ideally be initiated during infancy, developed through the childhood and sustained throughout the adulthood. It can also be described as the value given by a person to his or her own self or the feeling of ‘self worth’.
Without a proper understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, a child or even an adult for that matter, may not be able to cope with the challenges in life and may easily give-up when the going gets tough. It may be harder for such people to feel good about themselves and therefore when one lacks self esteem, he or she is more susceptible to develop negative thoughts, depressed feelings, anxiety and feelings of self-worthlessness.
School assembly as a tool for developing self-esteem
While experts agree that building self esteem should start from the infancy itself, they also believe that school years play a key role in developing self esteem to a desirable level. Teachers can play a vital role in building their students self esteem by being role models, extending their unconditional love towards their pupils as well as by using appropriate tools to inculcate the traits of self esteem into the minds of their pupils. School assembly can be recognized as one such tool and perhaps an important tool at that given its far-reaching impact on almost all the students.
The importance of structuring the assembly
Many schools make use of the assembly as a way of communicating important messages to its pupils. It may also be a time-out from the monotonous classroom activities. However, if the school assembly to be useful in building the self esteem of its participants, it should be structured in a way to strengthen the skills that are needed by everyone to help each other realize their potential or their self-worth.
Theory behind using the assembly as a tool for building self-worth
Psychologists believe that being able to listen to a child and provide the child with useful feedback is one of the most important elements in building self worth or self-esteem. Although many teachers are able to do this, not many children could provide such support to their needy peers. Thus, an assembly can be a useful tool to build the skills of ‘listening to others’ and ‘giving useful feedback’. In addition, the way to communicate such feedback and the love that one should associate when listening and giving such feedback are two more skills that all children and adults alike should practice over time. Therefore, if school authorities can plan the assembly in a way to emphasize the importance of listening to others, the importance of giving useful feedback, the way to communicate such feedback and the importance of caring for others, it can become a strong tool towards building self esteem amongst the children.
Practical tips in using the school assembly as a self esteem building exercise
When structuring the assembly towards being useful for building self esteem among children, school authorities may use different tactics. Ideally, it should receive the participation of both teachers as well as the students. Role-playing, drama and video are few ways to get the message through to the pupils. All such assemblies should be wrapped up with a debriefing consisting of a reflection on what was intended from the exercise and the take home messages emanating from the same. At the same time, it is a necessity to repeat such exercises throughout the year as constant reminding and practice would be necessary to develop the intended listening, communicating and caring skills among all the students.
Lastly, teachers in the classroom can also supplement the activities carried out in the assembly by allowing the children to practice the same in the classroom setting. However, such practices need not be formal exercises but may be simple activities related to the ongoing classroom work.