Author Guest Post: “Self-Esteem and Students” by Karen S. McGowan, Author of Kelly’s Adventures


“Self-Esteem and Students”

Astronauts traveling to a new planet are not the only humans who need the right stuff. Students, as well as adults, are always wondering where they stand and if they measure up. When students have low self-esteem you will generally find numerous other issues. Low self-esteem is linked to violence, school dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and low academic achievement.

Teachers know that when kids feel better about themselves, they do better in school. The two core aspects of positive self-esteem are the belief and the experience that one is loveable and capable. Students come into your classroom with feelings of self worth or self doubt pre-programed through interactions within their own family setting starting in infancy. Some families are very nurturing, others are toxic. As teachers, we can tell if a student has grown up in a caring family.

When your students are at an age where they are constantly testing their emotions and asking whether they measure up, teachers will find a perfect fit with the Jolly Time Books trilogy. Kelly’s Adventures, a three-book box set, focuses on authentic characters, offering an easy to follow plot about family, school life, and everything centered on growing up in a chaotic world. The characters are believable, diverse, and instantly likeable. With relatable problems and intriguing themes, even the most reluctant readers will remain engaged.

The reader will connect with the characters and find situations that they have likely faced. Themes emphasized include bullies, friendship, values, problem solving, body image, entrepreneurship, perseverance, diversity, unity, and empathy. Teachers are depicted as positive role models who help inspire their students.

Good self-esteem is an essential component for everything children do – from positive academic performance to social skills. Classroom relationships with peers and teachers improve with a healthy dose of self-esteem:  children are better equipped to cope with mistakes, disappointment, and failure. Students are more likely to persevere, stick with challenging tasks, and complete learning activities. As teachers, we have the opportunity to help boost a child’s self-esteem through reading.

What happens when a main character immediately faces a crisis? Many readers relate and respond with empathy. In the opening scene of book 1, Lizzy and others erupt like exploding volcanoes on the kitchen floor after stuffing themselves with cake and ice cream. This embarrassing incident happened to me as a young girl. After she is ostracized by her boyfriend and picked on by bullies, how will Lizzy recover? The highly engaging personal situations and emotional roller coasters will keep the independent reader turning the pages of this book.

As a classroom teacher, I found that students learned better when reading and writing activities were followed by healthy discussions. That is why the three Study Guides for Jolly Time Books are designed as a teacher’s resource. This will save you time in lesson planning, and lead to rewarding classroom experiences. Each free downloadable Study Guide is presented by scene and chapter to match and complement the story. The Study Guides activate students’ ability to recall specific information about the scenes, events, and characters while enhancing their higher-level thinking skills.

The three free Study Guides provide a clear focus at every stage of teaching the text. The questions and interactive activities can be used as a class, in small focus groups, or as homework. The Study Guides contain both closed, comprehension questions, and open, higher order questions, exploring student response, opinion and analysis. The activities are designed to promote thinking and reflection while enhancing individual learning.

As teachers, we have the future of the world sitting in our classrooms every day. Let’s seize the opportunity and help shape what our world will look like in the future.

Jolly Time Books: Kelly’s Adventures Books 1 – 3 Box Set
Also available as individual eBooks or 3 individual paperback books
Book 1 – Searching for Kelly,
Book 2 – Chasing Kelly’s Shadow, and
Book 3 – Kelly Saves the Day

Book Description: In book 1, a black cat crosses Lizzy’s path, and she knows things can only get worse. Her brother, Ben, thinks that moving to a larger city is the answer. Big changes and magical twists abound when the Jolly family moves to Washington, D.C. They discover that Kelly, their new puppy, only adds to the chaos. Who knew?

The adventures continue in book 2 when Lizzy and Ben discover that moving hasn’t solved all their problems. Why does that black cat keep crossing their paths? WHAM! SPLAT! Is Kelly the only one to blame when Grandma decides to ride the Christmas tree, and winds up sprawled on the floor?

In book 3, the pressure on Lizzy heats up after she flips over backward at a student council rally. Will anyone vote for her now? Will Kelly survive the operation to save her life? To relieve tensions, they go on a picnic and hike with friends. What happens when Mr. Jolly becomes separated from the rest of the hikers? Could Ben’s teacher with psychic powers have predicted that this daytime hike would turn into a nighttime rescue?

Study Guides: The best way for readers to access the free eBook Study Guides is to download them from Amazon. All three Study Guides are on the first page of my Author Page. Here is a direct link to my Amazon Author Page.

About the Author: Karen S. McGowan is the author of Jolly Time Books:  Kelly’s Adventures Books 1 – 3 Box Set. She has worked more than 20 years as a teacher and holds a Master of Education degree. She is a leading advocate of education, and has written and published more than six dozen books for children.

Thank you so much for this guest post looking at how equal rights for women is still very much a timely topic!

Leave a Comment