I’ll admit it, when I first heard about affirmations, I cringed a little. The idea of standing in front of a mirror repeating phrases that I didn’t quite believe felt awkward and maybe even a little inauthentic. But today? I wouldn’t be without them.
Like so many teachers, I’ve had times where my confidence was shot. Times where the hours, high pressure, and passive-aggressive emails got too much. In fact, it was right at the rock-bottom of burnout that I realised something needed to change.
The truth is, I’d never talk to others in the way I used to speak to myself. My inner dialogue was so critical, so harsh and gave myself no grace. And I know I’m not alone in that.
As that hiking guy on TikTok says, “friendly reminder!”
After a lot of soul searching (and good therapy!) I realised how much my negative inner dialogue was weighing me down. It was only making things worse. And it was there - at rock bottom - that I first gave affirmations a go.
And friends - they were a game changer.
Gorgeous Motivational Posters from the Boho Rainbow Bundle. Images via @mskellythespeducator and @teachingwithmissburford
The moment I decided to show myself kindness - through affirmations and other self-care measures - my world changed. I know that’s a bold statement, but it really, really did.
You got this, BFF!
We see this with children too - we know that kindness is the sunshine, oxygen and photosynthesis to their growth. (Biology teachers - let me know if that metaphor works, haha). So why should we be any different?
Speaking of photosynthesis! These gorgeous Growth Mindset and Affirmation Station Displays are both from the Botanical Collection, via @middle__school__mania and @young.minds.bloom.
So many of you are about to start another school year, so now is the time to start the year with kindness. We need to role model self-esteem, efficacy and a growth mindset for our children, but also for ourselves! Everyone benefits when you are good to you.
This one has got me through some of those ‘If I don’t laugh I’ll cry’ moments!
So, How Do Affirmations Work?
There’s no single way to use affirmations correctly - you can write it down, recite it or repeat it silently like a mantra.
The gorgeous Spotty Neutrals Affirmation Display, via @littlerainbowteacher.
Usually, an affirmation is an ‘I am’ or ‘I can’ statement. But you know me BFFs, I’m a rebel and I like to break the rules. (Okay, I’m not, I love a rule!). The truth is - an affirmation can be whatever you need it to be. It might be a quote, a reminder, or even an image - whatever works for you.
We all need a little reminder sometimes!
My favourite way to use affirmations personally is via a visual reminder. I really just take a second to read it, repeat it and let the words sink in. I usually choose one for the day and say it under my breath every now and then.
Advocacy is everything, BFF!
Over time, I’ll draw on different affirmations in a given moment as a tiny little reminder that it’ll all be okay. (For example - I’ll use one when that dreaded email chime sounds with a grumpy parent’s email!)
Don’t you forget it!
There’s a great deal of academic theory behind the validity of affirmations in forming a positive self-identity. The research is clear on this too - they can decrease stress, help shape behaviour, help us see situations as less threatening and even boost our performance.
Truly, this is the number one thing sentiment that kept me going as a teacher.
Affirmations in the Classroom
My absolute favourite way to use affirmations in a classroom is through an Affirmation Station. You’ll see them all throughout this post, they come in so many different designs and aesthetics. Most teachers pop them around a mirror, but they can work just as well on a door or a wall too.
Beautiful Spotty Brights Affirmation Stations via @the.sunshine.teacher, source unknown and @misshonnersclassroom
Like all of my resources, they’re editable, so you can choose the fonts, change the words and make it your own. Whether you favour neutrals, pastels, bright colours or earthy tones - I’ve got you covered!
The Spotty range alone has so many Affirmation Station options!
My Growth Mindset Displays and Motivational Posters also perform a similar function - reminding students about the power of a positive attitude and mindset.
But most importantly? They’re fantastic for sparking conversation.
An oldie but a goodie, my first Growth Mindset Display from the Black Stripe Range.
One of the most powerful things we can do with our children is to regularly talk about concepts like student efficacy and empowerment, but in easy-to-understand language. The more we can link these concepts to everyday situations, the better.
Have you got a Growth Mindset Display in your classroom, loves? Images via @mycozyclassroom & @kinderqueen123
These concepts of self-belief, efficacy and self-worth are so intrinsically linked to resilience and performance. I’ve seen it time and time again with my students and lived it personally.
Love seeing these gorgeous displays all across the globe!
And I’m not exaggerating when I tell you - many hundreds of teachers across the globe have Affirmation Stations and have found them so valuable. (Hundreds of five star reviews don’t lie!)
Classroom goals via @elementary.with.emily. These gorgeous decor items are from the Boho Rainbow and Boho Plants ranges, respectively.
So, BFFs - I hope you’ve taken something out of this little post, maybe even screenshotted an affirmation or two. But most of all, I hope you remain kind to yourself throughout the inevitable highs and lows of this new school year.
If you need any help with choosing the perfect design for your Affirmation Station or Motivational Posters - I’m always here to help! Shoot me a DM on Instagram, any time!
Stay in touch BFFs!