Physical Development

physical development1

My own physical development has strongly influenced my self-concept and self-esteem, particularly during my adolescent years.  As a teenager I was much smaller and skinnier than others my age.  Entering high school I was particularly self-conscious of my own appearance.  I felt inferior during this time because I had yet to experience puberty.  I entered the 9th grade a mere five feet without ever having a real growth spurt.  Since girls often experience puberty earlier, the majority of them were taller than me.  I remember having extreme anxiety about which girl I would ask to the freshman dance since I was the “short guy.”  On the basketball team I was by far the smallest player and was told by others that I should not be playing due to my size.  Ironically when I did reach puberty I grew to be over 6’2!  High school is a particularly difficult time for people because they are so concerned with how they are portrayed by others and often form negative self-concepts because they do not fit in to what is deemed acceptable by mainstream society.  Not only are adolescents developing socially and emotionally, but also physically. My own experiences as a high school student who reached puberty later than others have made me a stronger person today.  I realize now how silly it was to get so caught up with how others perceived me and how as a result it negatively affected how I perceived myself.  With my own students, I try to foster a classroom culture of tolerance and respect that accepts all people.

physical development2

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