Teacher's Thoughts

Hi, I'm Charleigh, a student Pike High, and I interviewed elementary school principal Kevin Kempton about his thoughts on self-esteem as it relates to students.

Charleigh: So, Mr. Kempton, how many years have you been in education?

Principal Kempton: I've been in education for 31 years.

Charleigh: Wow!

Principal Kempton: Okay, you didn't have to respond like that! LOL!

Charleigh: Could you give me your definition of self-esteem?

Principal Kempton: I would say self-esteem is the value and belief that you place on yourself as a person and how you feel you interact with the world.

Charleigh: Good or bad, have you noticed self-esteem change in your students over the years? If so, could you give me any examples?

Principal Kempton: Over the years, overall, I have not seen a change. However, in certain kids and their particular self-esteem, yes. As a society, we either build or take away self-esteem. We do this either deliberately or accidentally by knocking down or building up self-esteem. Students either have very big self-esteem or little to none. We've got to do a better job of fostering talent rather than tearing down. Nurturing of talent has to happen within the students' families as well.

Charleigh: What advice do you have for students struggling with self-esteem?

Principal Kempton: I would tell students to rely on trusted adults for guidance. Realize that you have something unique that others do not possess. Don't weigh significance on bad things but on how you impact lives and others around you and in the world. Begin to compare yourself to people who have opportunities and measure self-esteem based on positivity. With social media, connect with positive groups but also understand that online bullying happens, but it's not the real world.

Charleigh: Thank you for your time, Mr. Kempton!

Principal Kempton: You're welcome Charleigh!

Charleigh, 16