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Use Reading to Build Self-Esteem

Students who feel good about themselves are more likely to become better achievers. When students have a positive self-image and confidence in their ability to learn and achieve, they are much easier to motivate. The opposite is also true for students with low self-esteem who struggle with learning and can sabotage their own progress.

According to the Child Development Institute, LLC, "Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of boys." In this article titled "Building Self-esteem in Boys Through Reading," the author suggests several ways to build self-esteem that applies to all students, whether boys or girls.

Allowing students to choose what they want to read helps turn reading from being a chore into being a pleasure. Finding a series of books that a child enjoys reading helps provides the motivation to continue reading about the characters and story that the child has become invested in. Reading helps build the vocabulary and language skills students need to be successful in all subjects, which in turn makes a child feel more confident.

Setting Children Up for Success

One way that teachers and parents can help build students' self-confidence is through having them read age-appropriate books. One way to determine if a book is too easy, too difficult, or just right is to use the five finger test. Open the book and look at about one hundred words. As the child reads the text, he or she holds up a finger every time an unfamiliar word is encountered. If the child holds up five fingers before completing one hundred words, the text is too hard at the moment.

Charting reading progress and providing positive feedback can help build confidence by showing children how far they've come.

Reading and Literacy Skills

When students struggle with reading, it can quickly lead to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. That is one reason it is very important to focus on building reading and literacy skills early. According to "10 Fluency Strategies for Struggling Readers" published on Touch-Type Read & Spell, "Struggling readers can quickly fall behind their peers and may develop low self-esteem and a lack of confidence as a result. Because reading ability impacts performance across all areas of the curriculum, including writing skills, it's important to provide adequate strategy training as early as possible."

Different learning difficulties have an impact on reading skills and require different approaches to help students overcome specific struggles. It's crucial for teachers to recognize the root problem early on so they can find strategies to help enhance focus and concentration. Sometimes a combination of patience and more time is required for individuals with slow processing capability. For some students, the issue may be visual impairment. Identifying the problem and addressing it early can help students experience success in reading that in turn helps to boost their self-esteem.

The LSUS MEDCI: Reading & Literacy Online Program

Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a fully online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (MEDCI): Reading and Literacy program. This program is designed to be flexible to meet the needs of working professionals who want to pursue an advanced degree in education with an emphasis on reading and literacy. Students may qualify for a federal TEACH Grant for this high-need program, with up to $3,736 per award year for 2017-2018. The Federal Student Aid website lists the current TEACH Grant amount, which changes each October.

Students learn how to assess reading ability, apply reading techniques in the classroom, and create reading programs tailored to the needs of individual readers, as well as groups.

Learn more about LSUS's online MEDCI: Reading and Literacy program.


Today: Building Self-Esteem in Boys Through Reading

Touch-Type Read & Spell: How to Build Self-Confidence in Students

Touch-Type Read & Spell: 10 Fluency Strategies for Struggling Readers

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