Building Self Esteem


A child named Tyler who used to attend our Montessori was causing a lot of worry from his parents. At three years old, he still wasn’t talking. Every day at school for a whole year, he would cry as he was dropped off. Ms. Marilyn would hitch him on her hip and wear him until he calmed down. It took Tyler time to feel comfortable in his new environment.

In Nurturing The Spirit by Aline Wolf, she writes, “Peace education is not only to be taught; it is the most effective as an ongoing experience in the classroom community. Such a community values each member as a unique individual; it encompasses the habits of respect and fairness; it encourages the peaceful resolution of conflicts; and it gives each person a sense of belonging to a group whose combined efforts can be greater than of any one member. A classroom is a group of people who come together for a common purpose in a spirit of helpfulness and harmony. Community.”

Although Tyler did not speak that year, he was silently learning reading and counting, and when he was ready, he came out of his shell, slowly gaining confidence.

In Getting Your Money’s Worth: Your Investment in Montessori, Edward Fidellow says about self esteem, “In the classroom, students go from no experience and no power to being able to control themselves and to control the outcome of their activities. These successful experiences build confidence. However, we need to be careful that we do not equate just “success” with building confidence. Success, of a certain kind, does build confidence but easy success is not a confidence builder. Confidence comes, not only from the students’ actual success, but also from the students’ feeling of success.”

Here is Tyler carefully placing a flower branch in a vase during a group activity. Soft music is played and each child patiently waits for their turn to approach and quietly place a branch in the vase.

Today, Tyler has his Masters degree and is a meteorologist.

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August 2020
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