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.