20 secrets about an early childhood educator's self-esteem
Many books have been written about the importance of a child's self-esteem and the role it will play throughout his lifetime. Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of the self-esteem of those who care for children daily? Indirectly, early childhood educators communicate their beliefs, their feelings. For this reason an early childhood educator's self-esteem is just as important as the self-esteem of the children she cares for.
In this article, you will find 20 of the best kept secrets surrounding an early childhood educator's self-esteem. They are a collection of things I have found particularly interesting in the many books I have read about self-esteem, quotes related to the subject, and my own personal reflections. I hope they will help you develop a positive self-image and take pride in the work you do every day.
- Celebrate your successes. There are most likely several every day, but too often, they are unnoticed. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to recognize your little victories.
- Everyone makes mistakes. Accept yours and learn to recognize them and apologize if necessary.
- You aren't perfect...nobody is. Stop aiming for perfection, it simply doesn't exist.
- Have fun. Wow! Having fun will make your days so much better and make passing the "happy" gene down to children possible.
- Don't be afraid to add a touch of silliness to your days. A smile, silly faces, or a tickling session can all go a long way. Make silliness a habit and you will quickly become dependent on these little moments.
- Recognize your qualities. We all have many. Unfortunately, this is a fact we tend to forget. List your qualities. Ask children to help you complete your list if necessary. They will find countless qualities you may not think about.
- Look for the positive side of every situation or difficulty. This may be challenging for some, but it is worth the effort. No matter the situation, you can always find a silver lining.
- Learn to be more assertive. Assertiveness is linked to self-confidence. Do not hesitate to state and enforce your limits. The more you assert yourself positively (and negatively), the more you will feel as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, since no one will be able to "enter your bubble".
- Pay attention to your self-talk. Did you know your inner voice can greatly influence your behavior, your reactions, and your mood? Monitor your inner voice and eliminate any negative statements and misperceptions. Focus on encouraging, positive, and joyful sentences.
- Stop comparing yourself to other early childhood educators, parents, etc. You are unique and you have the power to add a touch of color to the life of each child in your group.
- Be sure to have personal projects as well as projects you can tackle with your group. A sense of accomplishment and self-confidence are great allies.
- Feed your need to learn. Constantly search for new tools and information. You will feel more competent if you believe you are equipped to fulfill your daily tasks. What's more, you will feel professional in the execution of these duties.
- Learn to let go of things you cannot control.
- Identify the strengths and qualities of each child. A single positive thought about a child can change the course of your intervention.
- Learn to feel better about yourself by making tiny changes to improve your situation. Tell yourself that you are moving forward by making one change at a time (even if it's something very small).
- Learn to say "no" to things that bother you, that you aren't comfortable with. This is a great way to demonstrate self-respect.
- Remember that your own self-esteem will directly impact the self-esteem of the children in your group. Your interventions, your words, and your energy reflect your self-esteem.
- Learn to accept and enjoy the little moments filled with love and tenderness. Your days are spent with little ones who are full of energy and love. Soak in all the love they offer!
- Centre your attention on the present moment.
- Let the energy of the moment guide you. Avoid over-planning. This exercise will help you appreciate the little things happening right now without making room for anticipating the future or living in the past. The stronger your self-esteem and self-confidence are, the easier it will be to "go with the flow".
Never forget just how important you are!
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator