Why Going to School With Your Head Held High Really Matters
Remember Kurt, the little boy that said he didn’t like art simply because he was tired of colouring with his only two colouring pencils? Kurt was embarrassed by his lack of school supplies that all the other kids seemed to have. But what if a lack of school tools caused more than just embarrassment? What if, by starting out the school year with less, Kurt was actually being held back in his education?
Throughout our Sharing in Student Success program, we always talk about children going back to school with their heads held high, but does that really matter? Can confidence and self-esteem actually help students learn? Research suggests it can.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is your evaluation of your own worth. It’s your perception of yourself—it may or may not reflect how others see you. At times, high self-esteem may be a sign of arrogance, and low self-esteem may reflect huge insecurities or a sense of inferiority.
Can Self-Esteem Change Your Behaviour?
In short, yes. Self-esteem is founded on belief, and peoples’ beliefs shape their actions. Even at the age of 5, the way you see yourself can have a huge effect on how you act.
We all know that people respond differently when put in the same situation. One of the reasons for this are differences in levels of self-esteem.
Self-Esteem in the Classroom
Although high self-esteem does not directly boost performance on an assignment or classroom task, it encourages persistence. This means that somebody who feels confident in their own worth is more willing to try again after a failure. In other words, people with high self-esteem aren’t quitters.
There are other perks of high self-esteem, too. For example, people with high self-esteem report being happier than those with low self-esteem. They are also more willing to speak up in a group and ask questions. This, combined with persistence, can lead to higher performance in the classroom.
An Equal Foot
It is our priority to give children the tools they need to succeed throughout the school year. On top of that, we want to make sure every child is motivated and excited to participate in the classroom. That’s why we not only work with the school boards to make sure the children on our list have the supplies they need for the year, but we also help provide them with a backpack, so they can walk with dignity and pride into the classroom.
How You Can Help
With cost of living higher than ever, and with many Syrian newcomers in Ottawa needing a little extra assistance, the need for programs like SISS are higher than ever. We saw a dramatic increase in registrants in 2016, and we received an outpouring of love and generosity from the community to help us meet the need.
By donating to programs that support students, you can help children in your community start on an equal foot with their peers. An investment in the education of young people is an investment in the future.