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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

August 27, 2018

The Importance of Self-Concept at the Start of a School Year

Many teens start a new school year with apprehension. Some of this feeling stems the attitude—or self-concept—they have for themselves.

Self-concept refers to what you think about yourself. It is concerned with what you believe to be the truth about who you are and the gifts and talents you have. Your self-concept determines whether or not you like what you see when you look in the mirror. When you like who you are, you have self-esteem.

Self-esteem is vital for success in any endeavor, including an academic school semester. . If a student feels good about himself or herself, life is big adventure. New experiences are challenging and stimulating. Meeting new people is enjoyable. Oppositely, if a person has a poor self-image, every day can seem filled with dangers and never-ending plagued with many pitfalls and chances to fail.


Ask the students to imagine themselves at a shopping mall at three different times: 1) by themselves; 2) with a best friend; and 3) with a parent.

Ask volunteers to describe how they would feel in each of those situations. You may want to have students role play each of these situations to show how their behavior is shaped by whom they are with.


Have the students answer these questions in writing:

  1. Why do their peers act as they do in different situations?
  2. In what situations to you exhibit the real you?

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