At foundation phase a child is more selective in friendship, usually one best friend, enjoys games, regularly disagreements and sensitive to disapproval, eager to please the teacher (PGCE class slides). My daughter when she was doing grade R I use to quarrel with her on what to have for her lunchbox. She did not like brown bread preferring white bread for her sandwiches whereas we preferred the brown one. So I compromised for her sake and bought only white bread, then she came back from school the other day saying that her class teacher said the brown bread is healthier than the white bread why did I gave her the white one. Now I was the one at fault and the teacher was right she forgot that she was the one who did not like brown bread. From then on she ate only brown bread she was eager to please the teacher. (Davies, 2011) stated that,
During the preschool years, the child’s relationships begin to focus more on peers, although parents remain the central people in the pre-schooler’s life. But interactions with peers begin to have a strong influence on the child’s sense of self as a social person, p257.
According to Morgan and Huebner, 2009 adolescence is a time of many changes for both teens and their families. ‘Problem behaviours amongst adolescent learners continue to affect the goals of effective education’ (De Atouguia, 2014). Parents and peers impact is on long-term goals whereas peers impact is on immediate status (PGCE class slides, 2017).
I remember when I was an adolescence I had a low self-esteem due to the teachers who told me at grade 1 when I wanted to join the dance class, that I was not flexible enough, and she put it like this, ‘do you think you can dance being this hard, you cannot even bend your waist stop wasting my time’ followed by the laughter from my peers. I cried so hard then after that I did not like anything that will make me the centre of attention. I did not participate in any sport unless I was forced to do so. I only read my books and passed because of that. I grew up thin, not slender but thin as a rake, and my peers used to laugh at me because of that, even teachers make jokes about, it is not good for a teacher to make a joke about a learner, having a low self-esteem can be really difficult because as you grow up you do not think you deserve anything better in life.
According to (Orth, Robins, Meier, & Conger, 2016), ‘self-esteem does not necessarily reflect a person’s objective talents and competencies. Moreover, self-esteem has been described by the feeling of self-acceptance and self-respect, but high self-esteem does not necessarily imply that the person believes he or she is superior to others (Rosenberg, 1965 as cited by Orth et al. 2016)’. ‘Self-esteem refers to the perception the individual has of his or her self-worth. A person with high self-esteem is an individual with self-respect, who considers himself/herself to be of worth, is proud of his/her achievements, and can minimize the effects of stress. Self-esteem may be related to many factors, including social environment, education, and past experience with illness’ (Kwong, Lam, Tsui, Ngan, Lai, & Lam, 2016). Low self-esteem is a risk factor for depression (Orth et al, 2016), therefore as educators we need to make sure that we do not cause the learners to feel less worthy of themselves. According to (Morgan, & Huebner, 2009), ‘during teen years adolescents experienced changes in their physical development at a rate of speed apparel since infancy’:
‘ fast improvements in height and weight ( ‘during a one year growth spurt, boys and girls can gain an average of 4.1 inches and 3,5 inches in height respectively’, Steinberg, 2007 as cited by Morgan, & Huebner, 2009)
‘ growing of secondary sex features in boys and girls (changes that happens during puberty like growing of pubic hair, underarm hair, menstruation, penis enlargement, changing of voice, growing hair on the face)
‘ continued brain development (‘studies suggest that the connections between neurons affecting emotional, physical, and mental abilities are incomplete’ (Strauch, 2003 as cited by Morgan, & Huebner, 2009)
It was found that with increasing age adolescents chose delayed rewards more often as a function of future orientation. According to (Jacobs, & Klaczynski, 2002), ‘Adolescents are often characterized as poor decision makers by teachers, parents, policymakers who point at teen pregnancy, drug use, and delinquency as evidence of judgment’. At this stage of their life teens are curious about everything happening, their growth, they are not happy when their peers grows taller than them. Girls start menstruating and they don’t feel comfortable going to school when this time comes. I remember when I started menstruating I knew nothing about it because I was not told about that, I was 12 years old and it was during December holidays when every kid in my village swim in the river because of the heat, and I saw this blood in my panties while urinating. I told no one because I was afraid that maybe I did something wrong for that blood to be and I was going to be blamed at home and get bitten. I went to the river to swim as usual and no one saw me, it happens for 3 days after that I was fine.
You see for a child with low self-esteem you are afraid of being blamed when something bad happened I was not even sure if I was not the cause of that blood coming out. I used my dolls dresses as pads because I used to see my mom putting soft cloths as pads on her panties, and I threw the dolls dresses in the toilet, we had the pit toilet the one that is not flushed. After 3 months the blood came back luckily my mother saw me washing and asked if it was the first time and I lied and said yes she took care of me from then on, but that did not make me to be comfortable at school. I wish there was a way to make girls feel comfortable at school during that time of the month. When adolescents identify themselves as academically proficient and able to master school-related responsibilities, they get higher grades, and when they attain good grades, they feel more proficient academically (Roeser, Eccles, & Sameroff, 2000). ‘The quality of opportunities that adolescents are afforded by adults in their families, schools, and communities for cultivating their academic and social aspirations, skills, knowledge, and commitments is a second essential factor in promoting adolescents’ developmental success’, (Erikson, 1968 as cited by Roeser et al., 2000).
According to (Morgan, & Huebner, 2009), teens become overly dramatic believing that things happen to them and you as a parent will never understand, taking unnecessary risks. (Anderson, Blumenfeld, Pintrich, Clark, Marx, & Peterson, 1995) stated that,
First, because teaching is inherently multidimensional and full of unavoidable dilemmas, teachers need to develop knowledge of the many aspects of teaching with which they must deal simultaneously. Some teachers’ expectations for and responses to students are based on the teachers’ beliefs about the need for pupils to feel responsible for their own actions. They may not realize that pupils’ capacity to be responsible and effortful are tied in part to their strategic knowledge, and when a teacher fails to help pupils develop strategic capabilities, it may be unfair to criticize pupils when they do not act responsibly. In such a situation, some pupils will thrive (because they comer with the requisite strategic knowledge) and others will become labelled as shirkers and irresponsible (when they did not know how to be responsible).
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