Tag Archives: Self-Esteem

Get Excited About A Wrinkle in Time!

The nerdy little girl in me got really excited when I saw that A Wrinkle in Time was re-released as a graphic novel. As I enjoyed the story again, I realized time was folding back on itself as the child me and the adult me merged across two decades. Then, my copy was already old and worn, enticing me with the allure of a well-read classic. Now, my copy is alive with the illustrations of a new generation:

The cover alone is likely to attract more readers than the old tattered version in my classroom library.

The book is full of so many little truths I never properly absorbed as a child.

I also love that the book tells kids that different doesn’t mean dumb.

And, most of all, I love that the book acknowledges the childhood desire to blend in as well as the journey toward self-acceptance.

Not only did this lovely adaptation reconnect me with my inner nerdy little girl, but it also revealed an adult parable about the darkness in our world and the importance of love. I am excited to add this book to my classroom library, certain my students will also enjoy the illustrations, the allusions to the very math they’re learning, (converting fractions to decimals…), and the rare instance of a math genius girl as the hero who saves herself, her family, the world.

While it took me a bit to adjust to reading a graphic novel, (I didn’t realize how different parts of your brain are required to balance picture and word information simultaneously), I really loved rediscovering this classic story with an adult perspective. If you have a young person in your life who would appreciate a story about being both different and wonderful, I highly recommend ordering this book, (and allowing your grown-up self to enjoy it first!).

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Cultivating Positive Self-Esteem in Girls

I know positive self-esteem is not just an issue for girls, but when it comes to friendships and the way students treat each other, it is most visible with girls.  Practically everyday, a different little girl will come up to me, upset because of how her “friend” treated her.  Yet, without fail, she will be back attempting to play with the same girl at the next break.

So, why do girls repeatedly try to befriend people that are not nice to them?  Self-esteem seems like the obvious answer, but I feel like there is more to it than this. I can’t help but wonder if there is also something attractive about the challenge of getting others to like us, or maybe even a love for the drama of things not being easy.

As much as I recognize the absurdity of these unbalanced relationships, I’m not immune.  Even as an adult, I find myself chasing certain friendships that are not reciprocated.  I share that detail not as some sort of passive aggressive jab at anyone, but because I genuinely do not understand the desire.  It seems simple, if someone does not reciprocate a relationship, whether they’re just aloof or actually mean, move on.  That’s what I tell the girls, but sometimes I don’t even do it myself.

Fifth grade is just the beginning of it all– girls figuring out how to treat each other as their hormones really kick in. I remember the end of the year with my first group of fifth graders during my residency program.  Talk about catty.

Knowing what likely lies ahead for the girls I care about in my class, I cannot help but try to understand the psychology behind these relationships.  We model how to treat people, do not accept malicious behavior, and facilitate problem-solving discussions, but when it comes down to it, life isn’t the ending scene of Mean Girls where everyone bonds and the mean girl learns her lesson.

I know this little chick has made multiple appearances on my blog, but it reminds me of being a kid and wanting friends. Whenever I started a new school, I’d carry it in my pocket. It made me feel braver and less lonely, but it still did not protect me from how mean girls can be to each other.

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