Humans are naturally social creatures. That doesn’t mean that everyone is outgoing. It means that we all crave friendship and other relationships. Some people like being the center of attention, and others enjoy being close to just a few people. Regardless of how many people we prefer to surround ourselves with, there’s one thing we don’t like to be… alone. At least, not for too long. Sometimes, because we don’t want to be alone, we hide parts of ourselves so that others might like us more but that hiding hurts our “self-confidence.” Self-confidence refers to how much we like and believe in ourselves, no matter what others say. Let’s think and talk about what self-confidence is and how we can grow it in ourselves.
** Note: This video is 6:29 minutes long. If this is too long for your student group, it can be stopped at 5:19 with similar results.
*Note: In circle activities, students should always be allowed to ‘pass’ if they are uncomfortable answering a question, but they should continue to be acknowledged.
Ask all students to sit or stand in a circle, with one student in the middle. Ask for 2-3 other students to identify one positive attribute about the student in the middle. Have all students take turns being the student in the middle. Encourage students to highlight positive qualities that cannot be seen (e.g., friendly or good at math) and visible skills like good at soccer or nice smile. Allow yourself (teacher) to be in the middle too – we all need some positive feedback from time to time!
Teaching can feel like a thankless profession at times. Students act out, parents are not always appreciative, and we might feel that we don’t have the support of our colleagues or administrators. Sometimes we feel that we’re not reaching our students or providing them with the best of ourselves. Then there are other days that remind us why we became educators – days when a student shares their appreciation for us or a colleague confides in the importance of our presence there. Those rewarding days or memories help get us through the more difficult times. Let’s remind ourselves of our own awesomeness! Start a journal of your own rewarding memories or impactful quotes or feedback. If you have a hard time starting or just need more to add, see this link for 10 Daily Affirmations for Teachers.