When using the term self-esteem we will refer to the one coined by Denis Lawrence in his book Enhancing self-esteem in the classroom, 2006 —The development of the positive qualities of personal integrity, self-acceptance, respect for the needs of others, and the ability to empathize would comprise the ideal self in a civilized society—.
Many situations with peers and academics may affect children’s self-esteem and how they confront their everyday life. It has been suggested in a dazzling array of studies that listening it’s key to support personal growth and enhance motivation in students, who need to be heard and treated equally. In order to help pupils and work towards a positive and strong self-esteem, teachers may start by finding activities that they are passionate about. Every child has a natural talent, it could be a wonderful voice, good ear for music, excellent writing or drawing, or even something more pragmatic such as maths. When listening to their interests and providing space to express themselves we may find those little things that bring out that virtue that distinguish them from the others.
Together with listening it is considered very important to let children take risks, make choices, and solve problems. They must develop competence as well as self-evaluation, which is an important learning tool that teachers can train children in a classroom. This is what we understand by having an inclusive education.
By making exercises or using digital tools to practice and develop pupils talents and interests, we can motivate them to develop their talent or flourish a passion yet not discovered. For instance, by utilizing a Social Network, in which we can open up discussions, thematic groups, upload pictures, write texts, share ideas and much more. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in schools provides great opportunities for creative development in children. It encourages them to explore and discover for themselves. The use of ICT in class can be complemented with hands-on activities which will empower and strengthen that self-esteem in children that we are searching for.