The world of education is ever-evolving, but one of teachers’ #1 priority will always be to help students see the best in themselves. Many teachers have implemented Affirmation Stations in their classrooms in order to help students build self-esteem. An affirmation is a short phrase that is recited with the purpose of empowering students. For example, students might begin their day by saying “I am smart. I can do hard things. I am accepting.” Repeating such affirmations have notable effects on our minds, even at the youngest of ages.
According to Self Sufficient Kids, our thoughts tend to be up to 70% negative. By repeating affirmations, we (kids and adults) can break this cycle and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. In the classroom, Affirmation Stations are generally characterized by a mirror surrounded by differing affirmation phrases or positive adjectives. Students are meant to look into the mirror and choose a phrase or word that then becomes a specific goal of theirs. One child may choose to look at themselves and say “I am loved,” while another chooses “I can learn anything.” There are many different things to consider when planning your classroom’s Affirmation Station, like ways to represent every student and providing easy access to the station. Here are 25 different ways teachers on Instagram are designing their Affirmation Stations for their classrooms and how you can too!
1. Use single-word, concise adjectives to follow the starter sentence “I am…”
2. Create a theme for your Affirmation Station, like this farmhouse one!
3. Provide a ton of meaningful, descriptive adjective options for students to choose from. The more the better!
Perhaps you could also provide opportunities for students to add new words as they think of them!
4. Print the adjectives on post-its to allow for easy switch-outs (BONUS: NO CUTTING REQUIRED)
5. Don’t have a lot of space? Small mirrors still have a big impact.
6. For younger students, include the entire affirmation on each card
7. Be culturally responsive by including adjectives in all languages represented in your classroom
8. Use different sentence starters for older students
Try using sentence starters like “I can do…” or “I stand up for…” to develop more thoughtful affirmations.
9. Make important adjectives stand out more than others
Of most importance is that every student deserves to feel loved and cared for. Make these adjectives stand out on bright paper.
10. Print the affirmations on speech bubbles for an added aesthetic touch
11. Don’t like the name Affirmation Station? Some teachers call it a Motivation Mirror instead!
12. Use QR codes in your station for students to scan and listen to a recording of affirmations
13. Match your Affirmation Station to the current season
14. Have students create the adjective squares themselves
15. Set up the station in the class bathroom (and be sure to include the little “wash your hands” note as a reminder)
16. Better yet, just use a dry erase marker right on a mirror!
17. Adjust the mirror to be at the appropriate height for students to see themselves AND be able to read the words
18. Display powerful quotes and photos of role models in your station
19. Utilize different fonts and text size to make the station more appealing
20. Place your station in the Cool Down Corner for students who need a break
21. Have students keep track of which affirmation they’re choosing
By including sticky notes in your Affirmation Station, students can choose to leave their name by the affirmation they are choosing. This may be another powerful tool for some students in letting the affirmation really sink in.
22. Display affirmations with clothespins so that they can be easily exchanged
23. Line your mirror with washi tape for some flare
24. Added lights make your station that much more cozy
25. Make class affirmations to recite together as well!
You can’t go wrong when incorporating such a powerful tool in your classroom! Your Affirmation Station could be as simple as a bathroom mirror with 10 post-its around it or could be as complex and decorative as a heart-shaped mirror with laminated affirmations in different fonts. All stations will have the same long-term impacts.