Building Students’ Self-Esteem


Students and teachers spend upwards of 13,000 hours together before high school graduation roles around, so it is hardly surprising that teachers have considerable influence on the self-concept of their students just as Carl Rogers’ research suggests. Rogers’ research evidence indicates, “when students’ feelings are responded to, when they are regarded as worthwhile human beings capable of self-direction, and when their teacher relates to them in a person-to-person manner, good things happen” (Rogers, p.2). Part of building a student’s positive self-concept: sense of personal value and self-efficacy: belief in one’s abilities to be a successful learner requires responding to students in terms of their specific needs and goals (Albert, p.1). Asking for student ideas and goals is a way of encouraging students to take responsibility for their education and provides teachers the opportunity to express confidence in students’ abilities to be self-directing and successful—students learn to trust their own instincts and abilities.

Teachers also have the opportunity to reinforce the development of confidence through affirmation and encouragement. When it comes to offering authentic praise, a teacher must not overpraise which making affirmation cheap. Also, when affirming a student’s work ethic, progress, or quality of work, it is important to keep the praise student focused so that the student will develop intrinsic motivation as well as confidence and pride in their work (Albert, p. 1).  To implement strategies that building students’ self-esteem and create a positive classroom atmosphere, a teacher must be proactive and intentional about developing relationships with students so that students will “grow more healthily and achieve more effectively” (Rogers, p.2).


Rogers, C. Teacher effects research on student self-concept. Handout from EDU 6526, Seattle Pacific University, Feb. 26, 2013.

Albert bandura and social-cognitive learning. Handout from EDU 6526, Seattle Pacific University, Feb. 26, 2013.

Image retrieved on March 2, 2013 from:

2 thoughts on “Building Students’ Self-Esteem

  1. How fantastic that it is part of our job description to assist in boosting children’s self esteem? Could there be a higher calling? The world is waiting to add its’ criticism and doubt to their minds, but we are there to counteract it and build them up.

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