Esteemable Acts

Esteemable acts are experiences which give a person an increased sense of self-esteem.  I am often doing such activities in my first grade classroom.  In fact, just this past Friday, I was able to raise the self-esteem of our second graders who were in my first grade last year.

            During their first year with me, I taught them games which required critical thinking skills.  That class was full of good thinkers.  We’ve added some new students who include a few who have some learning difficulties.  The game we were playing required the students to balance various sizes of wire.

pieces on a wire stand which is leaning about 45 degrees.  The object is to hang the pieces which range in sizes from three inches to about ten inches from each other without making any pieces(s) fall down.  As it got more and more difficult, students began to dread the inevitable…one of the students with a handicap was about to have another turn.  Rather than let them fail in front of their teammates, I gave them careful instructions and encouragement as they moved their piece onto the dangling wire sculptures.  Sure enough, I was able to coach them to success.  Their teammates cheered for them and they puffed up their proud chests for all to see.  They were successful in doing a task at which they failed previously.  Now, that class holds the championship because they arranged every single piece in the game without a mishap.  Other classes must now meet their challenge.

            We require all students to take art and music in our school.  At the first grade level, this is a wonderful esteem builder.  Once I prove to children that they can do wonderful art, their esteem is so positive that we always get wonderful art creations every year.  Not only do they learn to really observe things closely, but they become aware of a wonderful world filled with patterns and masterpieces.  I love the look on their faces when people comment positively on their art works.  Music, like art, requires practice and technique.  However, once a technique is learned, new advanced creations can be developed. 

            My own self-esteem was lifted forever when I learned that Jesus Christ died for me.  That message has guided my life and activities for over sixty years. I learned that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Without that esteemable act, I might have lived a life of frustration and self-pity.  Instead, I have lived an abundant life with wonderful relationships.  No, it wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter.  I had to recognize my weakness and flaws, and then ask for God’s guidance. 

            My students experience challenge and perhaps failure…until we join together in one of these esteemable acts.  Then, I am able to guide and coach them to success.  After their confidence is built up, new risks and challenges are faced with new resolve and positive self-esteem.