Self-esteem in school: a blog post found via wordpress tag

I’m having fun on wordpress – in particular I am enjoying finding bloggers through my wordpress tags. Today I discovered a blog post by Principal Kendrick called The Importance of Self Esteem where principal Kendrick cited this gem from Michelle Borba:

    Special Care for Special Students

    Michelle Borba, nationally known author and consultant on
self-esteem and achievement in children,         says there are five things
middle school educators can do easily to improve the self-esteem of
their             students:

  • Mentor a child. Find one student who looks as
    though he or she needs a connection and just take a little more time
    (even one minute a day) to find a positive moment.
  • Connect with your team about a student. Pass on
    concerns to at least one other staff member so you’re both on the same
    page. You can then reinforce the same positive traits about a student
    together and optimize the effort.
  • Reframe children’s images of themselves. Find one
    positive trait that is earned and deserved—artistic, great smile, kind
    heart—and let the student be aware of it. Reframing an image generally
    takes 21 days, so reinforce the same trait 10 seconds a day for 21 days.
  • Turn students on to a great book, Web site, hobby, or a club that might capitalize on their natural interests or strengths.
  • Make yourself available. Give students your e-mail address and let them know special times you can be reached.

The effect that we have on students is enormous, unmeasurable. Barack Obama believes that teachers are the #1 influence on children outside of their same sex parent. I agree.

It is our responsibility as educators to do good with our students –  look how easy it is!

Remember the fox:

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox.
“Men have no more time to understand anything.
They buy things all ready made at the shops.
But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship,
and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . . “

“What must I do, to tame you? asked the little prince.

“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. First you will sit down
at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass.
I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye,
and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings.
But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . . “

The next day the little prince came back.

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox.
“If for example, you came at four o’clock in the afternoon,
then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier
as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall be worrying and jumping about.
I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time,
I shall never know at what hour my heart is ready to greet you . . .
One must observe the proper rites . . . “

“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They
are what make one day different from other days, one hour different
from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every
Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful
day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the
hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other
day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–

“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm;
but you wanted me to tame you . . . “

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”
And then he added: “Go and look again at the roses.
You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world.
Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.”

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing.
No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one.
You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox
like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made a friend,
and now he is unique in all the world.”

And the roses were very much embarrassed.

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on.
“One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think
that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me.
But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you
other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she
that I have put under the glass globe; because it is for her
that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three we saved
to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to,
when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing.
Because she is my rose.”

And he went back to meet the fox. “Goodbye,” he said.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose—” said the little prince so he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
You are responsible for your rose . . . “

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated,
so that he would be sure to remember.

from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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