To discuss the studentsí hopes and aspirations and to discuss their feelings of self-worth.
by Jude Scrutton
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To discuss the students’ hopes and aspirations and to discuss their feelings of self-worth.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a flipchart and pens or whiteboard.
- Clothes that might belong to famous people. For example, a large football shirt with the relevant name on, a T-shirt with a famous popstar on (these should be either too big or too small for the students).
- A policeman’s uniform, a headteacher’s gown, a doctor’s whites.
- Pictures of celebrities who have fallen from grace.
- Ask the students what they want to be when they are older. Write up their suggestions. Then group the jobs under three headings: ‘Fame’, ‘Public services’, and ‘Business’.
- If your school is anything like mine most of the students will want a job that aspires to fame rather than to help people. Ask the students to discuss why so many people aspire to being famous. Take suggestions but under-play any idea of it being about a desire to be loved or admired by others.
- Now ask which is more important: being a good singer or being a good doctor? Who do they think would have the happier life?
Show some pictures of ‘mega’ famous stars who have struggled with their fame, for example: Britney Spears, John Terry, Ashley Cole, George Best, and others relevant to the present. Ask, are (or were) these people happy?
Now think about other people. Your teachers here – are they happy? Is your doctor happy? And so on.
Discuss the need to be able to be happy with oneself before accepting the love and admiration of others. Without this self-esteem we will be unlikely to be happy, whatever we do.
- Ask some students to come up and try on the clothes that might belong to famous people. Do any of them fit? (Try to make sure that they don’t.) We need to be our own unique selves and our own clothes will fit us better than anyone else’s. We can admire and enjoy being entertained by others but we must remember that we are all special in God’s eyes. If we use our own talents for the good of others then we could be said to have lived a good Christian life.
- In the Bible Jesus said that the two most important commandments in living a Christian life are to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’, and to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.
Time for reflection
Accept yourself. Don’t chase after other people’s approval.
Too much of what we do, say, buy or wear is motivated by our deep desire to be accepted by others.
God accepts us unconditionally, and in his view we are all precious and priceless.
Focus on this and you will not waste any time and effort trying to be someone you’re not.
Help us to celebrate the diverse world we live in.
Give me the opportunities to learn and celebrate with people who have different talents and abilities.
Let me always strive to believe in myself and do the best for the community I live in.
‘Will you come and follow me?’ (Hymns Old and New 560)