What it is

An area of student need, involving a negative concept of one’s abilities and worth.

Teaching Strategies

• Directly teach strategies and vocabulary related to self-esteem.
• Develop and implement an alternative programming goal in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
• Focus on successes and strengths.
• Reinforce even small improvements and efforts.
• Pre-determine peer groupings to maximize chances of success.
• Provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate and recognize his/her strengths.
• Use a journal for the student to focus on strategies and strengths.
• Use multi-media and literature to highlight others’ self-esteem.
• Use strength profiles and personality inventories.
• Provide replacement behaviours and language to combat negative comments made to self or others.
• Use an Antecedent, Behaviour and Consequence (ABC) chart to determine patterns and to develop pro-active strategies with the student.


• Use preferential seating, so that the student is in close proximity to peers whom the student would be most likely to be successful with.
• Post classroom rules, including “no put downs to others or self”.


• Ensure that the student is in a positive frame of mind at the time of a test.
• Allow for flexible timelines.
• Provide achoice of assignments, so the student can select an area of strength.
• Reduce the quantity of items.
• Check that the student understands the questions.
• Reduce distractions/offer an alternative location for testing.