A healthy self-esteem is valuable to all of us!
To the critics who believe that it is a waste of time developing a healthy self-esteem on the part of our students, I beg to differ.
Everyone functions better when they feel valued and appreciated. The school principal, the cafeteria worker, the custodian, the teachers and the students all benefit from the recognition of a job well done.
The principal can enjoy a busy work day when there aren’t disgruntled parents banging on the office door. Having a satisfied faculty and staff helps the school run smoothly compared to having tension in the air when all parties are in disagreement.
Isn’t it a much better lunch time for you if you see a pleasant cafeteria worker rather than a grumbling one? When the children have to speak to the cafeteria workers, won’t they respond more politely if they too were spoken to in a kind manner? Again, if you feel valued and have a good sense of who you are…it is obvious.
The custodian who just removed all the snow from the parking area, polished the gym floor, and cleaned up the boy’s and girl’s rooms on both floors could use a smile from you rather than a criticism. When the custodian enters your classroom to repair the broken pencil sharpener again, for the fourth time, it would be nice to thank him/her. Having the class thank the custodian is a good start in setting a foundation for respect between the children and the workers.
Now, you cannot tell me that teachers do not appreciate feeling valued and respected. Teachers with a good relationship with the parents of the students in his/her class will have a far superior level of communication with these parents. It is easier to call a parent after a long day at work when you know that the parent will listen to you and not hang up. When teachers review their annual evaluations, the first thing they look for is recognition on the part of their administrator that their work is valued.
After listing how all of these adults enjoy a better life by having a healthy self-esteem, why would it be wrong to want the same for our children? When students believe that their teacher really cares for them and supports their efforts to learn, you have students who trust and respect their teacher. This reciprocal sense of trust and respect creates an excellent climate for self-esteem to flourish and for children to learn.
In a school environment where everyone values each other and respects each others’ work, great things can happen. The school becomes a place for excellence rather than mediocrity. America’s schools need to continue to develop respect for everyone’s ability to be the best they can be. This is possible when all adults and children respect each other, and have healthy self-esteems.