After watching this music video by Britt Nicole entitled – “Gold”, I asked my fifth grade students to respond in writing. We just had a class discussion the day before on the differences between low self-esteem and high self-esteem and about ways they could build their self-esteem.
Here is the response I received from Regine:
Regine came to our school two years ago from Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake demolished her home. She was at school at the time of the earthquake and had to be pulled out of the rubble. After being rescued and relocated to South Florida with her family she was placed in my classroom. I was teaching third grade at the time. She knew no English, but worked hard to learn it. She struggled emotionally and academically that year adjusting to her new life in South Florida. She also struggled with her self-esteem about how she looked.
This year, when I received my class list I felt blessed to have another opportunity to be her teacher – this time in fifth grade. Her writing and language skills had improved immensely. She was always so excited to show me her written work. She still struggled with her self-esteem and self-confidence, but I was seeing some improvement. Three days after she wrote this response, I found out she was relocating to another school. I quickly had the class make her a farewell card. As she was packing her book bag for the last time, I told her I would miss her and loved being her teacher twice. I told her to never forget – “Regine, you’re worth more than gold…” She smiled. I’m so grateful that her last memory in our school was one that built her self-esteem.
LESSON LEARNED: Throughout life there are many reasons why we may develop low esteem. It could be due to poor body image, intellectual ability, athletic ability, negative criticism, bullying, physical abuse or lack of achievement or personal expectations. There are also many opportunities for us to encourage others and help build their self-esteem. It could be a compliment about their appearance, a written expression of appreciation or something as simple as a song that portrays a positive message. God never makes mistakes and intricately designed us the way we are for a reason and a purpose. We have to believe His word and understand that the way the world may look at us is not the way God looks at us.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139: 13 -16