Our Student and Self-Esteem

What is Self-esteem?

esteem is the value we place on ourselves. It is the feeling we have about all the things we see ourselves to be. It is the knowledge that we are lovable, we are capable, and we are unique. Both adults and children benefit from good relationships, experiences and positive thinking. Many of the steps necessary for building our student's self-esteem will also help you in developing and maintaining your own.

Teacher and Parents role in building our student self-esteem

As a teacher and parent, you have the greatest influence in shaping your children’s sense of self-worth; you are their first and most important teacher. Their self-esteem is further influenced as they develop relationships with other family members, school teachers, friends and other adults.

Good self-esteem means:

  • Having a healthy view of yourself
  • Having a quiet sense of self-worth
  • Having a positive outlook
  • Feeling satisfied with yourself most of the time
  • Setting realistic goals


Love and Acceptance

Showing children that they are loved and accepted simply because they exist is the first and most important step to building a healthy self-esteem. Children need to get the message that they are worthy of love (even if they behave badly sometimes) from the most important adults in their lives – their parents, You must remember to:

  • Give love with no strings attached
  • Show love and acceptance through your daily expressions of affection, care and concern
  • Spend time together – play, work and relax together
  • Show that you feel good about them by hugging them
  • Tell them often, “I like what you did/said” and “I love you.”

A Sense of Belonging

Children need to know that they are important. When they feel accepted and loved by the important people in their lives, they feel comfortable, safe and secure, and open to communication. If children feel respected and secure within a family, they will find it easier to make friendships outside the family. To help children develop that sense of belonging, you can:

  • Help them build valuable family and community relationships
  • Encourage pride in their family’s ethnic background and heritage
  • Keep reminders of family events and family history around the home (photograph albums, home videos, etc.)

Security and Safety

Children must have their basic needs met if they are to feel safe and comfortable. A sense of security and safety allows them to take the next step: to try new things and to learn about themselves.

When children feel safe, they are less likely to be afraid of failure and more likely to risk trying again when they fail. Through this process, they are able to experience success. As their parent, you should try to:

  • Provide a safe physical environment
  • Set and enforce clear rules and limits
  • Be realistic in your expectations
  • Encourage them to say “No” to negative pressures


A stable environment they can depend on provides children with a sense of security. It is important for children to learn that their actions have consequences. Knowing that you can be relied upon to be consistent and to give help when necessary helps children to think, “I can trust you, and I can trust myself.” To build this kind of trust, you should:

  • Be consistent so they know what to expect
  • Be sure your verbal and non-verbal messages agree
  • Be honest about your feelings to yourself and to the children
  • Treat each child fairly


Children will develop respect for themselves and for others if they learn that what they think, feel and do is important. If you put them down or call them demeaning names, your children will feel unworthy. Criticism or punishment which is too harsh will prevent children from developing self-confidence. By accepting your children’s right to have feelings, you can help them learn to respect the feelings of others. If we as school personnel and parents teach our students healthy ways to express their feelings, they will learn to develop positive relationships. When dealing with student, you should remember to:

  • Accept what they are feeling even if it is different from your own feelings
  • Show respect for their feelings, beliefs, actions and individuality by listening with sincere interest
  • Make “I feel” or “I believe”, rather than “You are”, statements when you do have to tell children what they are doing is wrong.

Feeling Special

We are all special. It is important for us in our school to help our children discover their own special talents and qualities. Once they do identify what makes them special, they need to learn to value their own strengths. Remember to teach your children that feeling special does not mean feeling better than others; rather, it is a positive understanding of their own uniqueness. We should encourage our beloved students to:

  • Value their uniqueness
  • Be optimistic
  • Have a cheerful attitude (remember to set a good example)
  • Try things their own way
  • Understand that trying your best is more important than winning


It is extremely important to give children support and approval. Children who have faith and confidence in themselves and their abilities will be more likely to lead happy and productive adult lives. We must Teach our student to learn from their mistakes, to work towards a goal, and to have pride in their successes. You should:

  • Encourage them to face challenges and take risks
  • Teach them to make decisions and to set goals
  • Express faith and confidence in them and their capabilities
  • Provide opportunities for them to take responsibility for their actions
  • Help them recognize that there are things they must accept and things they can choose to change
  • Give them an opportunity to succeed
Signs of Low Self-esteem that could lead to Suicide

Signs and symptoms may be different for everyone and these are only guidelines. Individuals may experience:

  • Anxiety, depression and shyness.
  • Negative thoughts about themselves and their abilities.
  • Pessimism about capacity to be successful.
  • Addictive or compulsive behaviours (e.g. alcoholism, drug abuse, food, shopping and smoking).
  • Negative and hopeless thoughts.
  • An inability to overcome past negative emotional experiences.
  • Avoiding making eye contact with others and/or walking with head down.
  • Feeling uncomfortable and isolated.
  • Difficulty accepting compliments and easily hurt by criticism.
  • Frustration and impatience with one-self.
  • Tendency to blame oneself for negative events and not take credit for positive ones.
  • Avoidance of risks in personal and professional lives.
  • Negative comparison of self versus others.
  • A lack of confidence in decision making abilities.

Low Self-esteem in school Life

students who have low self-esteem often experience:

  • Unhealthy and dissatisfying relationships with friends and family members.
  • Impaired academic and job performance.
  • Anxiety, stress, loneliness, and depression.
  • Vulnerability to addictions: drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, online addiction, and/or sexual promiscuity.
  • Avoidance of social interaction and isolate oneself.
  • Feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness which interfere with learning and working more effectively.
  • Academic failure (low grades) due to lack of confidence (ex. Performing poorly on a single test makes one underestimate their abilities and prevents future attempts to improve their grades.


Causes of Low Self-Esteem

  • Experience of failure in school, sports, or other activities.
  • Being ridiculed or teased.
  • Physical, verbal and/or sexual abuse.
  • Being highly criticized by parents, peers, or teachers.
  • Being expected to be “perfect” at all times.
  • Unrealistic expectations from parents, peers, and or/ teachers.
  • Overprotective and/or authoritarian parents.


  • Acknowledge your strengths and don’t focus on the negatives.
  • Speak positively about yourself.
  • Avoid negative people and spend time with people who are nurturing and optimistic.
  • Permit yourself to assert your wishes and needs, even if you think it will conflict with others’ expectations.

Coping Strategies

There are many factors that contribute to self-esteem. The following are some things you can do to improve your self-esteem.

  • Think positively about yourself and accept compliments from others.
  • Learn from your mistakes rather than seeing yourself as a failure.
  • Think of your successes, positive qualities and talents.
  • Spend time engaging in activities you enjoy.
  • Do not focus on the achievement of others.
  • Do not become overly dependent on validation from others.
  • Get involved in meaningful projects.
  • Exercise regularly, eat well, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Counseling can help you to explore what factors contribute to your low self-esteem while focusing on ways to improve your self-esteem.


When to get help

At times, everyone doubts their own worth and abilities. However the following are indicators that you can benefit from professional counseling:

  • You have difficulty making your own decisions.
  • When making decisions you focus on pleasing others rather than yourself.
  • You often feel depressed, lonely and/or worthless
  • You have a tendency to become involved in unhealthy relationships.
  • Often find yourself doing things you don’t want to do in order to maintain relationships with others


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Teaching starts from a heart full of love, compassion and joy!

Every teacher should have a joyful and loving heart every single day; kids can feel it and respond to it...


Don’t ask what your school can do for you, but what can you do for your school every day!

                                                                             Dr Wakawaka Hughes P.

Breakfast & Lunch program Sponsors

We would like to give a big and Warm thank you to former principal Ms Sophia Galanis, Marieline Kitchen and Louis Bernier for their unconditional support from the beginning of this program. Our thanks also go to The active and humble principal Josee Lalumiere, Vice Principal Michel Branchaud, pastor Allen Etapp, Michel Awashish, Marie Ortepi, teachers and members of the pentecostal church.

  • Maxi Chibougameau
  • Band Office (Mat. Blacksmith)
  • Michel Awashish from Church
  • Jack Otter (Suicide prevention coordinator)
  • Members of Church and volunteers (MaryAnn Ottereyes, etc.)
  • MSDC Team

In the name of God most High, we give thanks to our sponsor and our future sponsors.

If you want to sponsor or volunteer in our Youth Lunch program, please email Dr Waka Hughes at hughespierre@justedu.org

God bless


The Office of Readaptation and the Waswanipi MSDC/Health board has sealed a great deal of providing extra help to students in need. This is the first deal ever done within the Cree Nation between School and Health Board/MSDC.

We are very thankful to Marie Ortepie, Winnie, Ghislain, Sophie and the whole team at MSDC for the unlimited support and love for our students.


Every Month, the Office of Readaptation and Special Ed hosts a school/community potluck at the school. The idea is to allow community’s members, parents, teachers and students to interact and to know each other better. The overall objective is to prevent and alleviate behavioral issue at our schools.

The first potluck hosted at our school was a great success with almost 600 people attending. We want to give a very warm and special appreciation to Vice Principal Emilie Deschenes for helping us making that potluck happen. Your great contribution to our school and to the Holistic Thinking for Positive Behavior is always treasured.

Saturday Lunch

Every Saturday, we host a free Lunch program at the Pentecostal church (basement) from 12 pm to 2pm.

All the kids are welcome. The menus vary from:

  • Moose Spaghetti
  • Hot dogs
  • fried rice with carrot and meat
  • Pizza
  • Potatoes and fries
  • drink
  • chicken and soup
  • etc.


Movie Night

We host a movie night every Friday at 7 pm with the youth at the Pentecostal Church.

Every kids are welcome. We also have a snack and drink during and after the movie.


Math and Spelling Tournament

We host a Math and Spelling Tournament every weeks at the Rainbow Elementary School.

We are also looking for sponsor to offer various prices to winners.

Thank you!

Start a Youth activities?

If you have an idea of a youth program that will  built our school, church and our community in Jesus, please feel free to contact Pastor Allen Etapp, or the School.

Donate to this program?

If the Creator, God has touched your heart to support the after school program, our lunch program at church or any other project we are involved, please feel free to contact  Pastor Allan Etapp or the school and arrangement could be made to receive your donation.

God bless your heart and your family.

JJK Cree contact

Address for activities: 17, Cedar St.

              Waswanipi, QC, J0Y3C0

Tel: 929-800-2946

School address:  Rainbow School
Waswanipi, Quebec
J0Y 3C0

 email: info@justedu.org


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