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HomeHealth & BehaviorEmotional Well-Being

What teachers know: Roy Hudson

An award-winning high school teacher on helping kids like themselves.

GreatSchools Blog

By GreatSchools Staff

Position and school: Director of theater, Shades Valley Theatre Academy, Shades Valley High School; Irondale, Ala.
Years teaching: 16
Top teaching boast: Alabama 2009 Teacher of the Year

"I think adolescence is absolutely the hardest age period for kids. Their hormones are rampant. There’s so much peer pressure. There are so many influences that don’t have to do with parents. All the media, the Internet, Facebook. But kids this age cannot produce anything good if they don’t love themselves. You can see the obvious kids who hate themselves. It’s very important that kids like themselves. Once they do, then everything falls in place.

"As parents, find something special about your child. Then tie that in with something they can get involved with. I suggest to parents: Sign your child up for something. Say to your child, 'Let’s try this. Let’s try that.'  Never give up on kids.

"We had a kid whose mother worked in the theater for years. She said, 'I want him to come to the academy. But he can’t sing or dance.' When I met him, he wouldn’t speak or look me in the eye. I said, 'I can’t take him if he can’t speak.' His mother said, 'Let me try with him again.' Finally, he spoke with me, and I said, 'OK, let’s give you a try.' He’s now a sophomore. It turns out he’s brilliant running a light board. We’ve gotten to the point that the kids respect him so much. The other day it was his 16th birthday. The kids brought cupcakes, noisemakers, and grabbed him and put a tutu and crown and Mardi Gras beads on him. They really love him."

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

05/16/2011:
"I wish you could help students one on one and make self esteem get higher"
05/12/2010:
"I wish you can go into schools and teach the teachers how to build the students self esteem. "
05/12/2010:
"This is very encouraging, please have more of these stories to remind us and to keep us in touch to the rapidly changing society. Thanks"
05/12/2010:
"I'm a Grand mother of a teenage girl. When she was younger, she would laugh a lot and tell jokes, loved to sing and dance around, loved soccer, loved to create things by hand, play games, etc.,just a wonderful child. Now she only has one or two friends, said she doesn't like people, she says hateful things about kids at school, doesn't care to get involved in things she used to be interested in, doesn't talk much, never calls us unless we call her first. She's from a single family home. Her parents divorced several years ago. Both parents are so involved in their own lives with their work and interests. I don't think she likes herself and that just may be the problem. We as Grand parents do what we can to help build up her self esteem, but that doesn't seem to be enough. We don't want her to go through life with such a negative attitude. She's very smart and she could go so far in life."
05/12/2010:
"If the bible were still allowed in schools and parents took their kids to church and taught them how much GOD loves them they would find value in life and in their lives."
05/12/2010:
"If the bible were still allowed in schools and parents took their kids to church and taught them how much GOD loves them they would find value in life and in their lives."
05/11/2010:
"I would like to add that liking them selfs includes teaching our children how to eat healthy and be physical. "
05/11/2010:
"That is true. Love and respect for the self is something parents should be teaching our children everyday. Don't waste more precious time, specially when out there its all about competence. Thanks for kind words, I promise I will never give up on my kids!. Love ♥"
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