IATEFL Part 4 – Luke Prodroumou on self-esteem

Luke Prodromou has Aretha Franklin’s Respect playing as the audience filters in.

He then asks what each of letters mean.
R for respect and rapport.
E is for esteem and evaluate (positive evaluation).
S is for self, special.
P for principles and practice, patience.
E is for empathy and emotion -feeling that you deserve the respect.
C is for competence and building the feeling in the learner that they can do it.
T is for technique and how the teacher does things in the classroom.

Prodromou then goes on to read excerpts from Robert Frost’s the Road Not Taken before starting to examine the turning points in our professional lives – our self-esteem moments.

After sharing with our partners moments that changed our lives, moments that made us feel good, and emphasises the fact that one of the things that make us (and our students feel good) is when our names are remembered.

What is self-esteem?
A basic definition is a high regard for oneself, a good opinion of oneself.
But more appropriately, self-esteem is
A feeling that you are as important as other people and that you deserve respect and to be treated well.

Self-esteem can be seen on the levels of competence and worthiness.

On the level of worthiness, he gives the example of Hamlet, one who had issues with self-esteem and beliefs that he is not worthy. ‘I could accuse me of such things that it were better that my mother had not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious…what should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven?’

In contrast, ‘Yet today, many years later, for my living I sweep the streets or clean out the toilets of the fat hotels. why? Because I constantly failed my exams’ – Brian Patten shows a low self-esteem to do with competence.

The audience then watches a scene from Kes directed by Ken Loach where Kespar tells the story about his hawk, and we identify self-esteem moments in the lesson.

With personal examples, Prodroumou talks about how he used cards to nominate students so they don’t feel intimidated by the forest of hands (of their other classmates) going up and about how he paired the best student with the difficult student (the flower and the bud).

Group work and collaborative production of tasks and written work could make less confident students feel included and proud of the being part of the end product.

Emphasising that labelling (students) is more suitable for jam jars, Prodroumou encourages us not to judge students but to offer them opportunities to participate and to learn.

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Author: chiasuanchong

I am a freelance communications trainer and a teacher trainer based in York, UK. With 13 years of experience training students from all over the world to communicate better in English (and in particular, Business English), I am also a professional blogger, materials writer and intercultural trainer.

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