A strategy I would use, as a teacher, to increase student positive self-esteem is to provide my students with verbal praise, even when receiving an incorrect answer. It is very important, when building self-esteem, to provide children with praise for their efforts. Teachers do not often praise a child who gives a wrong answer, but I believe that the child should be praised simply for trying. By giving my students praises such as, “That was a good try,” when they deliver a wrong answer to a question, I will not only be increasing their self-esteem but encouraging them to continue to try as well.
The more often a child hears how proud of them someone is, the more proud they feel of themselves. A strategy I would use, as a teacher, to increase a student’s sense of security in a classroom setting is to start each school day by greeting each of my students at the door as they enter the classroom. I would personally greet each child, by name, with a friendly smile. A child who enters a friendly environment in which they feel that someone is not only happy to see them but also cares that they came will feel happy and safe.
As a part of creating a friendly environment, I will fill my classroom with bright colors and educational characters the children are familiar with, such as the Wonder Pets, Dora the Explorer, and the Backyardigans. I will also have the children start each morning with a coloring sheet. I feel these methods will help to increase student security by making the children feel comfortable inside the classroom. By being greeted by a smiling face and entering a classroom filled with things that make the children happy such as bright colors and characters, the children will be more apt to enjoying their environment.
Following this up with an activity that all children enjoy such as coloring, will ensure that the children are excited about starting the day. A strategy I would use, as a teacher, to increase student school achievement is providing encouragement for each child to complete his or her homework the previous night with a sticker and rewarding each child who completes his or her homework every night for an entire week with a special prize. For the purpose of this classroom situation, I will use a typical Friday in my hypothetical second grade classroom.
As my students begin to arrive at school, I await them happily at the door to our classroom. The first student to arrive is Amber. I smile at her as she approaches the door and say, “Good morning, Amber. How are you today? ” After she responds, I ask her to put away her things, take her seat, and color the coloring page on her desk until everyone else arrives. The next students to arrive are Tommy and Megan, who has been out sick for the last two days. I say, “Good morning,” to Tommy first and ask how he is, with a smile.
Then, I say, “Hello,” to Megan with a smile, ensuring that I let her know the whole class is glad she is back and feeling better. I continue to greet students like this and direct them to their seats to color until they all arrive or the bell rings. We then begin class. During our math lesson, we work one of our worksheets together as a class. I have written the problems from the worksheet on the board in advance. As we go over the sheet, I ask the students for the answers. As the children answer, I ensure that I offer praise to each child, whether the answer is right or wrong.
For a correct answer, I reply, smiling, with, “That’s right,” or “Good job! ” For an incorrect answer, I reply, smiling, with, “That was a good try but not quite right. I am very proud of you for trying though! Would you like to try again, and this time I’ll help you figure it out? ” After a certain period, it is time for the students to attend activity period. While they are gone, I go over their homework from the previous night to ensure that they have all completed it.
When the children return, I give each child who has completed their homework a sticker for doing so; and since it is Friday, it is treasure box day for those who have done their homework all week. Before the students leave for the day, those who have completed their homework each night for the entire week are allowed, one at a time, to get a prize from the treasure box. If any of my students have not completed their homework from the previous night, I discretely and privately pull them aside in an effort to discover why they did not and to encourage them to do so in the future.
Once our day is complete, I smile at each child as he or she leaves the classroom, telling them all to have a great weekend and that I cannot wait to see them again on Monday. I am a firm believer in the fact that self-esteem, sense of security, and school achievement are all interconnected. It is almost impossible to achieve one without the others. Before a child can achieve in school or believe in his abilities, he must feel safe and happy. By feeling that his teacher is nice and that she cares about him, the child will be more relaxed in the classroom environment.
When greeting children individually, one is establishing individual attention with each child, which makes him or her feel special. When a child is glad to see his teacher and feels as if what he does is important to her, he is more likely to care about school and be open to learning. He also feels better about himself. In the classroom situation I described, the children are made to feel secure from the moment they arrive. As soon as they get to the classroom, they see a smiling teacher who is genuinely happy to see them.
This continues during the lesson as each child who offers an answer receives the feeling that I am proud of them. Both of those aspects not only help the children feel secure but make them feel good about themselves. Because they feel secure and good about themselves, they are more likely to continue to strive for success. Finally, by offering praise and rewards, the students become motivated to excel in their work. By providing the students who complete their homework each night a sticker and a prize for completing it the entire week, self-esteem is further improved.
The desire for achievement is also strengthened. The students will want to complete their homework each week in order to get a prize and have someone be proud of them. By doing so, they will unknowingly be improving their grades, which will also gain them praise, both at school and at home. Before long, without even realizing it, the students will be striving to continue their improved grades for the praise it gets them and the sense of security and accomplishment it provides.