I started using affirmations in 2014, the same year I began teaching a standardized testing grade. I noticed that my students were often worried, nervous, and anxious about their assignments. The transition from second to third grade is BIG! They were obsessed with grades and sought outside validation. To target their social emotional needs, self efficacy, and self-esteem, we began to practice daily affirmations. Students began to craft their own affirming "I AM" statements and then they began to believe in their own words. They became more confident in themselves and focused on their learning, rather than their grades and comparisons to others.
It's funny how teachers often use best practices to meet the needs of students, but we neglect to do the same for ourselves. While I did a great job of teaching my students about the power of affirmations and "I am.." statements, I did not do the same for myself....until 2020, that is. When COVID hit, I felt the immense pressure of burnout on my shoulders. I made the mistake of consuming myself with pandemic updates and read the public comments about teachers. It literally made me sick to my stomach and drove me to tears. I knew I was working my butt off, learning a brand new learning management system, communicating with families, AND teaching, during a WHOLE pandemic. I did not know where to turn and needed something to remind me of WHO I was and WHAT I was capable of. I needed a confidence boost. I needed to believe in myself, so I started writing. Out of the daily brain dumps in my journal came affirmations- powerful, positive statements to counteract those negative, unhelpful thoughts that clouded my mind. I shared them on my social media pages and so many teachers related to my story.
I will continue to share affirmations each week in hopes that more teachers will find them useful and be inspired to craft their own.
My work is significant.
My best effort is enough.
I am more than "just a teacher."
Taking care of myself is a top priority.
I can find joy in celebrating small wins.
I am worthy of boundaries that serve me.
I have a job, but this job will NOT have me.
I can set firm boundaries and be an effective educator.
I am committed to my mental, physical, and emotional health.
Taking care of myself is not selfish. It allows me to take care of others.
Comparison is the thief of joy. I release any thoughts of comparison and refuse to entertain them.
Remember, you're human. Give yourself lots of credit and LOTS of grace. You've got this.