Saturday, September 11, 2010

I wish kids were more confident

This week, I had PCC (PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), Careers and Citizenship) with my form - yeah, that's why we call it PCC.  It really boring, except for the times you get to talk about sex drugs and rock'n'roll.
Anyway, at the start of the new year I decided to do a lesson about looking back on last years achievements and setting targets for the future.  At one point I got them all to write down, individually, 3 things they were good at.  They then showed the list to a friend, who was to add one more thing to it.  I then asked for some volunteers to tell everyone what was on their list.  No-one volunteered.
My form aren't particularly shy, and it was very unusual that no-one wanted to speak (though, in this circumstance, I wasn't surprised).  I asked then why no-one volunteered.  Various answers were 'it can come across as arrogant', 'people might disagree with you' and 'it's not very modest'
This frustrates me - that kids aren't confident enough to admit to others what they are good at, and that they worry about what people will think of them if they do.  I know it's important not to brag about one's attributes and skills, but I think it's important to be able to acknowledge and admit them.
It's partly the old 'British modesty' thing, and it's partly that people just aren't confident enough about themselves.
If I could change one thing about the world, I would raise everyone's self-esteem. 

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