College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Lower School Holton Highlights

Holton Highlights for Lower School March 2023

“As you are, you are good enough, and you’re valued being you.”

The above excerpt from Chris Cascio, professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, reminds us of something so profound, yet so challenging. In today’s world, we experience a constant flux of proving our own worth — of proving that we, too, are indeed enough. A couple of months ago, I remember walking through the halls of Lower School with the proverbial weight of the world on my shoulders, and as I headed back to my classroom, something caught my attention. It was a message posted on a green piece of paper, written in bold marker by a sixth grader, with something I certainly needed to see. It read, “you are valued and you are enough.” I paused and immediately felt the impact of such a slight gesture. This singular moment left my mind reveling in the benefits of self-affirmations. 

A tenet of our LW3 goals lies in our ability to support the health and wellbeing of our students. We are fortunate to be in a place where we can provide the resources to support students as they navigate the difficulties of life; however, it has become more apparent that our students face challenges daily, causing them to question their abilities, self-worth, and even their sense of belonging. Yet, what I experienced in Lower School offers us another resource we can all benefit from — a simple reminder that you too are enough — you are valued, and yes, you belong here too.

I want to share some highlights in my research on the benefits of self-affirmation so we can continue to support our students academically and socially.

Self-affirmation is an incredibly important practice that can benefit students. Within self-affirmation, an individual reflects on their positive qualities, attributes, and accomplishments. The benefits include helping students build self-confidence, enhance motivation, and increase self-esteem.

The benefits of self-affirmation for students are wide-ranging. First, when students recognize their own unique qualities and abilities, they feel more secure in their identity and value as individuals. This positive feeling of self-worth can empower them to take risks, challenge themselves academically, and approach arduous tasks with confidence. Regular self-affirmation can help promote resilience in the face of challenges, setbacks, or criticism. When students have a strong sense of self-worth, they are more likely to take constructive feedback positively without feeling defeated or discouraged.

Besides these internal benefits, self-affirmation can also help students form stronger relationships with their peers. When students recognize their own worthiness and value as individuals, they can be more open to forming meaningful connections with others. This improved ability to connect with others could lead to improved social skills and better communication overall. Additionally, when students feel good about themselves because of regular self-affirmation practices, they may be more likely to seek help from others when necessary, which can be beneficial for both academic and emotional needs.    

Overall, the practice of self-affirmation for young students is incredibly beneficial for fostering both internal and external growth. By recognizing their own individual strengths and capabilities regularly, students can feel more secure in their identity while also building meaningful connections with those around them. Self-affirmation is an important tool that serves as the foundation for academic success and healthy relationships in life.

As we move towards the end of another school year, let’s remember that we, as educators and parents, should encourage and facilitate self-affirmation practices for students to help them thrive in all areas of their lives.