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Posted on November 23, 2012 5:18 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
Desire to Build Self-Esteem
Chill rookie was what I was told recently. To finish my degree in secondary education, I was assigned to an inner city school for my internship. I collected some information about the school, and found most of the students are African American and Hispanic and come from low SES backgrounds. When I went to meet with my supervising teacher, I asked questions to find out more about the student population. A lot of them come from environments where they have to deal with high crime rate. The drop-out rate is at unacceptable levels. I believe that a teacher should always work to build self-esteem in his/her students. Higher self-esteem will bring higher success. As a young African American female student teacher, I thought I can reach my students and build their self-esteem. I learned through my research that to build self-esteem, I needed to encourage my students to talk to me about their problems openly, hold group meetings to discuss solutions to problems, listen to and acknowledge student feelings, and be a good role model. From the very first day I started using these strategies. Students were at first reluctant to open up, but after I shared some of the problems I faced in my life and how I used those issues to build a better life for myself they were more willing. Students started sharing some serious issues such as losing a sibling to gang violence, having to face drug dealers every day, experiencing sexual abuse, and being subject to racism and discrimination on a daily basis. I was glad that students opened up to me, but my supervising teacher was not happy at all with these practices. The school principal and my supervising teacher had a meeting with me to discuss my practices. They insisted that my practices would not bring any results other than students feeling sorry for themselves, and making excuses for their poor school performance. I tried to explain my reasoning to them, but ultimately they asked me to stop self-esteem practices. I do not want to stop. I will have another meeting with my supervising teacher and principal to explain why I do what I do and how my group sharing is supposed to help. What should I tell them? Do you think my practices are useful? Do you think I should stop or continue?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted December 9, 2012 10:50 pm

Linda Swinson
Linda Swinson
Reps: 107
I totally agree with the fact that you should always work to build self-esteem not matter what. I don't think you should stop, but do some studies and build a good case before your next meeting to let your supervisor and principal know that you have researched and you know what you are talking about. You should put together the best possible presentation you can!!! Kids like these need someone to tell them that they too can achieve if they only believe.
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Solution 2
Posted December 5, 2012 2:09 pm

Jessica DeLaigle
Jessica DeLaigle
Reps: 110
Do not give up on these children. Obviously, they have finally opened up to you and NEED someone they can trust. Not only do they have you but they also have their peers they can now turn to if they need help. Do NOT stop working with these children. Fight tooth and nail for this one. Explain to your supervisors that the children need this time to cope with their issues and once they can finally get a handle on them, their self-esteem WILL rise. No only that, if you suddenly stop these exercises, the children are going to think it's something they have done wrong with will only result in negative consequences. Not only would I not stop, I would have other successful people come in and speak with them, have counselors come in, doctors, etc. anyone that can help these kids out. I think your practices are very useful!!
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Solution 3
Posted February 18, 2013 12:36 am

Kayce Cook
Kayce Cook
Reps: 24
I feel that all these children have emotional and cognitive barriers that are hindering their education before they even walk into the classroom. A lot of these kids do not even know how to express themselves and therefore do not know how to handle their feelings. The teachers intentions are very noble but I can see how these group meetings could be slightly over-ambitious. The teacher's foremost job is to teach content and not to give psychology sessions. She is not trained for this and may do more harm than good. On the other hand, it is very important to create classroom community by creating a aura of trust and understanding that will potentiate learning.
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Solution 4
Posted November 30, 2012 4:45 pm

Meredith Hein
Meredith Hein
Reps: 139
I WOULD NOT STOP! I think it is so important to connect with students in any way possible, especially those that are struggling outside of school. I think it's a shame to have a supervising teacher and principal not see the positive affects of a good teacher as a role model. It may completely backfire, but I would tell them that you are going to continue your practices unless the STUDENTS feel it is not beneficial. It is, afterall, the STUDENTS' best interest the principal, supervising teacher, and you should have in mind.
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Solution 5
Posted December 6, 2012 10:13 pm

David Sanders
David Sanders
Reps: 143
I can't say that I understand your superiors but I remind you that you are an intern refusing to do what your supervisor and principle have directed you to do. Where I come from, the next discussion we have is where your are going to do your internship.
Because they are the experienced ones, I would tend to try to understand their perspective. Is it possible the students are playing your innocence for better grades with "woe is me" stories? Is it possible they (supervisor and principle) have already been down they path you wish to walk and ended up making life situations worse for some of the children involved. Is it possible that personal advice you offer these children ends up in lawsuits for the school. Like I say, I don't know but you don't have the "creds" to support your position.
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Solution 6
Posted December 9, 2012 1:49 pm

John Buxton
John Buxton
Reps: 114
Sounds like you have some great ideas. It also sounds like your ideas are working. Your colleagues concerns are legitimate and could potentially become a problem for you. Just remember to always conduct your discussions in a positive manner. Provide solutions to the student's problems, not just have sharing time. You may also want to invite the principal ti sit in on one of your lessons. Let them see first hand what you are accomplishing with your students. If they do not see anything that justifies your actions then maybe they are right and you should stop.
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Solution 7
Posted December 9, 2012 9:40 pm

Jessica Jacobs Graham
Jessica Jacobs Graham
Reps: 116
I think that your practices are useful. I do believe that students will do better when they have higher self esteem. I would meet with the principal and your supervising teacher and ask them to at least give you a chance. I would suggest that they give you a certain amount of time (perhaps a month) and see if there is an increase in grades. Let them know that if there is no change in behavior or grades that you will be willing to try another approach. If you believe in this, fight for it. Fight for your students to have the chance to be successful.
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Solution 8
Posted December 1, 2012 10:25 am

Selena W Farmer
Selena W Farmer
Reps: 121
I think it is important to continue what you are doing and giving the students an outlet to talk about what is going on in their lives. I would respectfully express the importance of what you are doing to your supervising teacher and your principal. If they still think you should not continue, I think it may be beneficial if you offered to have them sit in on a discussion (if the students are ok with that too) so they can see how the students react and benefit from it. I think this is also an important thing to continue because the issues so of the students may discuss may need further help from a school counselor that may have otherwise gone without help.
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Solution 9
Posted December 6, 2012 8:17 pm

Jill Graff
Jill Graff
Reps: 104
Go in with research to back up what you have to say. Sometimes teachers forget the little things when they start living with the low self esteem day in and day out and sometimes they don't like new people to step on their toes. It is hard for a teacher to have someone come into their room and do something that they might never have thought to do or tried and failed because they just didn't try long enough. Teachers just get set in their ways and principals want to back up their teachers and maybe the principal is just trying to hold ground for the teacher. Talk with your supervisor before meeting with the principal and see what he/she thinks.
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Solution 10
Posted December 7, 2012 5:53 pm

Laine Vilardi
Laine Vilardi
Reps: 119
I say keep going! You are reaching these students like no other teacher has. You have taken the time to get to know each of them. You have gained their trust, and with that, anything is possible. You can more easily engage them in learning, make them want to learn because you, after all, understand them and what they have gone through. What's been done in the past obviously hasn't worked because the students just don't care. I think that needs to be brought up in that meeting in a nice way. Let them know that you really feel like you can make a difference...that is, after all, the reason you most likely got into education in the first place.
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Solution 11
Posted December 8, 2012 11:13 pm

Erin Warren
Erin Warren
Reps: 142
Definitely keep going! I would use research but also statistics! look up the statistics of students who have had self esteem training. Talk with the counselor and get them on your side and bring them to the meeting with your statistics. I also think having the students fill out a survey to say what they like best about the trainings would help. This might convince the princiopal and teacher!
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Solution 12
Posted December 9, 2012 12:00 pm

Anna Washinger
Anna Washinger
Reps: 121
This seems like such a tough situation. I believe what you are doing is a great thing and shows that you really care about your students well-being and success. With that being said, this is a sticky situation because you are student teaching and do not have as much say so regarding your supervising teacher and the school principal. One thing I might try before having another meeting with them would be to go to the school counselor, explain what you are doing with the students, and see if you can have his/her support behind you. You want to be as prepared as possible for this meeting. I would also take one day to ask the students to write how they feel about the self-esteem practices. Do they dislike them? Do they enjoy them? If so, what do they like about the practices? This can give you a better feel as to whether these self-esteem practices are effective. Have this information ready to present to the principal and your supervising teacher.
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Solution 13
Posted December 4, 2012 2:06 pm

Booker Hobbs
Booker Hobbs
Reps: 56
There are many young people who makes mistakes that they regret doing. I made a few when I was a school age-child. Some mistakes I was punish for and some I got away with. Nevertheless, when I tried to rectify the situation by doing a good deed, I received no credit for doing so. I believe in punishing a child for bad behavior. By the same token, a child should be rewarded for doing something good. In this way it will have a long term affect on him or her. I believe that acknowledging a child's good qualities and skils will help build their self-esteem.
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