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Self-Esteem: Key to Student Learning

What is self-esteem? According to Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D., noted author and expert on the subject, "Self-esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness." Branden explains that the basic challenges of life include being able to earn a living and take independent care of ourselves in the world.

Why is high self-esteem necessary? As Branden notes, "Positive self-esteem is the immune system of the spirit, helping an individual face life problems and bounce back from adversity." Therefore, high self-esteem is critical during the turbulence of adolescence.

Most educators struggle with the question, "How can one build a young person's self-esteem?" The process is simple, but the implementation is difficult. Self-esteem is built upon the experience of success. Think of it as a circular process. When individuals experience success, they grow in self-confidence. As self-confidence grows, they feel empowered to face new challenges. As they succeed in confronting each challenge, they develop the capacity to cope with whatever life throws their way. That feeling leads to further growth of self-confidence, self-reliance and self-esteem.

The more successes we educators can build into a student's learning experience and a student's capacity to feel self-sufficient, the more opportunities we will have to increase their self-esteem. The Career Choices curriculum was designed to help in this task. If building student self-esteem is a goal of your restructuring plan, contact our office for information on in-service options for staff development in this area.

Related Links:

* Career Choices & Changes
* Things Will Be Different for My Daughter by Mindy Bingham and Sandy Stryker
* Other Books Published by Academic Innovations
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