Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The year has finally come to a close. Last Friday, my Kindergartners and I joyfully looked back on all that we’ve accomplished. As they finalized their last journal entry, we put together a notebook which contained every entry since the beginning of school. This was an exciting moment for them. Observing the beginning of their journals, which typically consisted of random letters and included no structure, many of them were confused by what they had written. “What’s this say, Miss Molly?” they questioned.

At this point, I was eager to point out their progress. It turned out to be an automatic confidence booster as they turned each page and saw the improvement they had made over the course of the year. Here I realized that portfolios are my biggest tool to supporting their self-esteem. At this age, they will not always recognize achievements on their own, and as they progress academically and even socially throughout a school year, it becomes my role as the educator to recognize individual accomplishments.

My feedback, evaluations, encouragement, communication, and overall environment that I establish will attribute to how students feel about their abilities. Before self-esteem can be built, students must be able to recognize their individual accomplishments and believe that personal success was because of their own actions. I recognize that having a positive self-concept is critical during the early years, knowing that how we view ourselves affects future ideas, feelings, decisions, actions, expectations, and general performance in life.

Keeping a portfolio of their previous work proved to be a great way for me to show students exactly how far they’ve come and how much they’ve accomplished. Besides overwhelming positive reinforcement and constant encouragement, the portfolios I keep will help students gain confidence in their work. If keeping a portfolio is but one more thing I can do to boost their self-esteem, then I will accept the importance of my role in attributing to self-concept and do all I can to support it.