August 6, 2011


By now you probably have noticed that I am a big time believer in positive mantras.  Not only do I use mantras to get me through almost all of my runs, whether they're keeping me from quitting or pushing me to a personal best, I use them in my life too.  I swear, the mantra "Trust the Process" got me through my entire sophomore year of college.  So, you can imagine my elation when I attended a 5 day Quantum Learning training earlier this summer and saw positive affirmation posters all over the walls of the gym we were meeting in.  AMAZING!  If you are unfamiliar with Quantum (I was until this summer), I don't even think I can scrape the surface of describing it except to say that this training was unbelievable--in every moment, I thought to myself, "This is the kind of teacher I want to be."  Quantum is basically a teaching style (not a program!) that is designed to help kids LEARN in the ways that work for them and teachers teach their best while enjoying teaching.  (<--That's totally my interpretation of the experience, not their official motto or anything.)  It's energetic, exciting, and every piece of it is backed by research on how the brain works, so you know every tip and strategy you're given is really based on kids' brains and real learning.

ANYWAYS (that was a long tangent...), one small piece of Quantum is the affirmation posters that were all over the room.  Quantum research says that even when kids are just looking around the room, their brains are constantly taking in and processing information on the subconscious level.  They suggest putting posters with positive, first-person affirmations on your walls. From the Quantum website: "These supportive and inspiring posters can set the tone for a classroom and help create an environment of trust and safety – the kind of place where students learn best. In a students’ study areas they’re a good reminder of the things they need to remember about themselves."   So, even though I am not an artist and loathe my handwriting, I decided to tackle making some affirmation posters of my own yesterday.

Teacher Mom is very artsy (she used to do professional calligraphy and everything!), so you better believe I brought construction paper and markers over to the parents' house last night and enlisted her help...

Thanks, Teacher Mom!

(Guess which signs Teacher Mom made?...)

It's such a tiny little thing and these posters won't in themselves make a difference, but I love this concept.  I know that for me, if I were struggling on a test or an assignment, seeing a poster that says, "Everything I do deserves my best effort," just might help a little bit.  No, they won't change the world.  But will those random cutesy posters we buy at the teacher store change the world?  This year, my walls will still have anchor charts and math definition reminders on them, but you better believe that every free space is going to have an affirmation poster. :-)

Channel your inner 10-year-old...What affirmation would motivate and encourage YOU??


  1. LOVE your signs. I post lots of signs/inspirational definitely helps! Hope you are enjoying your weekend :)

  2. I think positivity is the key to a students heart!!!

  3. I love those saying. I could you some of those Positive mantra right now. Thanks.

  4. Better doesn't mean perfect, it means improved.

    (that definitely helped my perfectionist self for many years. my friend Nel wrote it in one of her plays)

    Oh, this is Elmo.

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE those...SO CUTE!!! I love the "every challenge is a gift!" SO TRUE!!!!

  6. I had to "Pin" these signs. What great sayings! I have a bulletin board that says "If your Plan A doesn't work, the alphabet still has 25 more letters." I am a big fan of quotes as well!

  7. oh my i loooooove this. i loooove looove mantras. trust the process- i have always been such a big fan. I love the "I can I will" I need to write these down. Why don't you live around the block so we can hang out! lol

  8. Love this idea too! I used to pick one each year and frame my entire behavior management./behavior talk around that.

  9. Hi Miss Teacher!

    My teaching partners have totally stolen your idea and my artistic teammate is busily making posters for our rooms. We used your "Today became great..." one. Right now, our newest one says, "Everyone makes mistakes. That's why pencils have erasers." We have another one that escapes my mind, but I'll post it here when I remember what it says. (Read: "When my teaching partner texts me back.")

    Thanks again for sharing!


  10. I went to Quantum in 2006 and it is still my foundation for teaching math at the high school level. I am thankful every day for the district that made Quantum part of their new teacher induction programming. My kids get negative messages every second of their lives ... if one poster can make a tiny bit of difference, it is absolutely worth every second of my time making it.


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