Teaching Self-Worth

By James Teixeira, SED’18

Teixeira, JamesThrough personal experience, I have come to believe that teachers have a unique ability to boost a child’s self-esteem in a way that no one else can. In high school, I was lucky to be surrounded by teachers who genuinely cared about students and worked hard to help them achieve their aspirations. I had one teacher in particular my senior year of high school who sought to understand what our passions were as students, whether it be our hobbies or our career goals. I remember the first day of school telling him that I wanted to be a teacher, and he would periodically tell me all about how rewarding of a profession it was and how he could see the passion in my eyes to change the lives of my future students. At one of the senior ceremonies, a few select teachers would do a “final send off” and I remember clearly him looking me in the eyes and telling me what an amazing educator I would be some day. All the faith he had instilled in me all year culminated in this moment and it is honestly something that will stick with me forever.

 Over the years I have received endless negative reactions to my ambition to be a teacher. However, as a student who has been so positively impacted by my past teachers, I don’t allow anyone to devalue my passion to be an educator. Firsthand, I have witnessed the power a teacher can have to instill self-confidence in students. I watched as my teachers worked tirelessly to ensure that I not only understood fully the subject matter at hand, but also that I was confident in my abilities to master material, overcome difficulty, and achieve my most sought-after aspirations. I worked extremely hard to be the student I am today, but I credit a lot of my success to the teachers who instilled in me the faith to push through and to put in my best effort. I know now that my future classroom will not solely be a place where I push my students to pass exams and get an A, but also a place where I push them to realize their value, worth, and potential. I am extremely excited to use the tools acquired from the School of Education as well as my own teacher role models to be the best teacher I can be and truly make a difference in the lives of my future students.

2 Comments

Anne Hagan posted on August 15, 2016 at 11:15 am

From knowing how quickly a poor teacher can negatively impact on pupils’ self worth, I know for a fact that those teachers who are positively working on students self esteem and goals are worth their weight in gold. It is so easy to either build up a child’s dreams or knock them down – teachers who do the former are so valuable.

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