Corrine Yannis’ middle school classroom features a very colorful, student-created bulletin board focusing on positive self-talk and positive reaffirmations, another example of the commitment of Minisink Valley faculty to their students’ social and emotional well-being.
She and her students regularly have conversations about how these tactics can improve their overall lives, self-esteem, ability to reach goals and overall productivity.
“We have been practicing reframing our mindsets and catching ourselves having negative automatic thoughts in order to correct them into a growth mindset thought,” she said. “ I say ‘our’ because I totally catch myself doing it too and want my kids to know that feeling this way is common and practicing being mindful of the thoughts we have is a lifelong practice. All of my students, plus many middle school faculty and staff. wrote down positive affirmations and positive ‘’ am statements.’”
Some student-created examples include:
“I will walk through my fears.”
“I can only compare myself to myself.”
“I am capable.”
“My mistakes are learning opportunities.”
These statements were arranged around a large mirror.
“The new rule in the classroom is, ‘Repeat it until you believe it,’” she said. “When students look into the mirror, they are to repeat positive affirmations to themselves.”
Ms. Yannis believes it’s important for students to also see adults also practicing these techniques and normalizing mindfulness in their everyday lives.
“I have been reinforcing with my students how important it is to speak positive to ourselves and keep a growth mindset,” she added.