[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on March 4th of this year, was our #3 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2019 countdown!]

Every day, students come into our classroom spaces from their own life experiences the day before. As educators, we do our best to make students feel welcomed and engaged every time they cross our thresholds.

I work hard to make sure students feel safe, cared for, and loved. To do this there are several activities or spaces in our classroom that build students’ self-esteem. I encourage other educators to try a few of these and see the impact it has on their own students.

10 things I do to boost my students’ self-esteem #k12

Build your students’ self-esteem all day, every day

1. Greet every child at the door with a smile and say his or her name
I started greeting students at the door a year-and-a-half ago. I stand in the doorway, awaiting students each morning. I greet them with a handshake, teaching them to look someone in the eye and have a firm grasp. I also call each student by name and ask how they are doing. Students now do not even come into the room before saying hello to me. If I am absent, I leave a note for my guest teacher to do the same routine.

2. Ask a question of the day to kick start your morning and touch base with every child
For morning work, students answer a question of the day. I make the questions up, but they could be anything from ‘What makes you happy? Sad? Annoyed?’ to ‘If you could change a color in the Crayola crayon box, what would it be and why?’ Their answers allow me to get to know each student and have a brief conversation with everyone before the business of the day gets hold of us.

About the Author:

Rayna Freedman is a 5th-grade teacher at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, Mass. She has taught grades 3 to 5 and is an instructional technology specialist. She is working on her doctorate through Northeastern University as she hopes to change the field of education some day. Freedman is president of MassCUE and has been presenting at the annual conference since 2010. She is a Google Level 2 certified educator, a BrainPOP certified educator, Flipgrid Ambassador, and Fablevision Ambassador. Freedman has presented for ISTE, Ed Tech Teacher, Tech and Learning, Medfield Digital Learning Day, FETC, BPLC, and BLC. Follow her on Twitter at @rlfreedm.


Add your opinion to the discussion.