Texas Education

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Self-Esteem of students (do I hear Teen Leadership?)

Posted by Texas Education on June 19, 2008

Today’s letter’s-to-the-editor write about an article in Sunday’s outlook section (oh, how could I miss that?) on students’ self-esteem. Ashley Herzog writes about how self-esteem hasn’t proven it helps anyone. She states “while the self-esteem movement hasn’t made children any smarter, it has made them more self-centered, demanding and hostile to criticism.” This may be, along with the many other statements, research and just flat out opinions on the subject. One of her “critics” in the letters, from JAMES A. BABB, mathematics teacher, grades eight-12, Friendswood, makes a very interesting point:

Teaching math at the high school level is an exercise in developing new attitudes in a defeated army of disappointed students. Success cannot be measured a year at a time because failure has dogged the students since fourth grade, where they began to lose confidence because the teaching techniques are focused on the standardized, mechanical questions that are on standardized tests. These tests, developed by lobbyists for book publishers, focus on what the book publishers place in their books, not on problem-solving strategies.

What did I tell you, yesterday??? One thing I know for sure works, “Teen Leadership.” It’s not a fad, nor a program. It is where students learn life-changing skills. Teen Leadership gives young people the opportunity to learn self-discipline, self-awareness, self-control, they learn commitment, and the self-confidence one truly needs in life. It also gives them the necessary tools, and prepares them, in how to deal with life experiences. The class shows positive signs in student behavior and makes a difference in kids’ lives. Schools see more respect among students and teachers, fewer fights, and an increase in attendance. Teen leadership students, before they take the class, have discipline problems, many are failing multiple courses, are assigned to the detention center, or have police records. After Teen leadership, they experience what it feels like to be successful, they achieve academically, and more stay out of trouble. The curriculum is awesome, and these kids become true leaders. See more on student’s testimonials. Teachers learn too. They learn to become better teachers. The first course is Capturing Kids’ Hearts. This, is for the teachers.

I believe students, and adults, need to master the art of self-confidence, self-awareness, self-control, not self-esteem.


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