How often do you talk to yourself? Perhaps more often than you think. I don’t mean long conversations with yourself, but those short statements to yourself at times when you are feeling vulnerable. If you’ve ever got nervous at the thought of presenting in front of a group and said to yourself “I’ve got this” then you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve struggled for the strength and motivation to finish a tough workout and muttered to yourself “I didn’t come this far, just to get this far”, then you know something about the power of using positive self-talk to harness a positive mindset in the face of a challenge.
For a while now I’ve been intrigued about the power of affirmations and wondered how I might use them in my classroom to nudge my students away from negative self-talk and potentially destructive dialogs. At the start of the year I added articles on affirmations to a Pinterest board, collecting examples of affirmation statements with the intention of returning to these resources in order to use them intentionally with my students.
An affirmation is a positive statement, often written in the present tense which encourages you to accept that the affirmation is genuine at the present moment. Affirmations typically start with an “I am…” statement, and they act to challenge negative self-talk, that internal chatter, that chips away at your mental health and wellbeing if not addressed.
One of my longest lasting successful creations is my “Free Compliments Friday” tear-off sheet, that has been used with much success by educators across the globe. This simple tear-off sheet allowed students to take the compliment that they needed at that time, or take one for a friend. I have heard tales of students keeping these in their lockers, wallets, and trading them with peers.
Spurred by the success of the tear-off compliments sheets, I have started to use these affirmation sheets in much the same way. Without any announcement, I hang these around my part of the building and monitor them throughout the day. As with the compliments poster, these get torn off by students pretty swiftly, and I have already had some positive comments from students who saw me hang them and told me that they had enjoyed them the previous week. For that reason, I created two separate affirmation posters, and they are available for download for free here!
I would love to know how these were received in your building. I think they’re positive, inclusive, and a wonderful way for students, and adults in the building to take a step closer to where or who they would like to be.
Downloadable Affirmation Cards
I like this affirmation idea so much that I took it one step further and created 40 printable affirmation cards. You could print these out so that they fit in a wallet, or print them out playing card size, or even postcard size.
These affirmation cards could be used in many ways:
Print them out and let students choose one for the week.
Use the cards as a journaling prompt.
Encourage students to use them in their meditation practice.
Students could send them to peers who may need inspiration.
If you want to download these 40 cards for your classroom use, you’ll have to buy me a coffee.