Shaping Self Esteem
Students who believe in themselves, perceive themselves as being “OK,” and are not debilitated by knowledge of their weaknesses are considered to have a healthy degree of self-esteem and a sense of mastery or self-confidence. They try new challenges and do not strongly fear failure. It is likely that they have experienced success more than failure, and probably when they were successful, a significant person noted it and commented on it to them.
The ways in which significant others respond to what we do plays a critical role in whether or not we see ourselves as masterful. If others let us know they recognize our efforts and comment positively when we try or succeed, our awareness that we do have capabilities increases. Conversely, without favorable comment we are less aware of our capabilities, even if we experience success.
The Importance of Sharing Circles
Through participating in Sharing Circles, students are routinely encouraged to explore their own endeavors and successes, and hear positive comments about their efforts. All the topics are designed to heighten students’ awareness of their own and others’ successes. Failure is a reality that is also examined. The objective, however, is not to remind students that they have failed; instead Sharing Circles enable them to see that falling short is a common, universal experience.
Comparisons and judgments are not made. The circle is not another competitive arena, but is guided by a spirit of cooperation. When students practice fair, respectful, noncompetitive interaction with each other, they benefit from the experience and are likely to employ these responsible behaviors in other life situations.
Here’s Your Sharing Circle. Enjoy!
Do you want more information?
• Leading a Sharing Circle
• Sharing Circle Rules
• Books and Resources
• Free Activities
Here’s How It’s Done
Gather everyone into a circle. Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.
Sharing Circle Rules:
- Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
- You can skip your turn if you wish.
- Listen to the person who is sharing.
- There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
- Share the time equally.
After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions.
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