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  • Rachel Terlop

Positive Self-Talk

Building a culture of mindfulness in my classroom has been the best decision that I have made as an educator. At the beginning of the year, I joined the Breathe for Change - Change Agent cohort, to continue my work of bringing mindfulness to communities that I am serving. In the program, we had weekly professional development meetings, discussed articles, and researched the benefits of adding mindfulness into school. Going through the Breathe for Change program in 2017 was the best thing I have done for myself as a human, and an educator, and continuing to be a part of this program is what got me through this year, and encouraged me to share self-care, self-love, and yoga practices with my staff.


Another wonderful program, Peace of Mind, was offered to me as a test curriculum. Our school did not have any set curriculum, and Peace of Mind was offered to us to pilot. Having a weekly curriculum that incorporated self-management strategies, and brain research was game changing.


Social Emotional Learning has become the foundation of my classroom environment. Of course I am going to teach the ELA and Math curriculum with fidelity, but SEL conquers all this year. Having a mindfulness chime that reminds us to stop, unclench our jaw, and breathe is soothing. Having a mindfulness leader who settles us in and leads us through cleansing breaths before lessons empowers students to take control of their learning environment. Using songs, Pixar shorts, and children's books to support SEL learning is my favorite thing to do in Morning Meeting.

Have you seen The Greatest Showman? If you have, you know the positive self-talk message is strong and beautiful.


During Morning Meeting one day, I played the song This is Me for my students and provided them with the lyrics. While listening, they annotated the text for figurative language (Figurative Friday is a thing in our room), as well as positive self-talk. What do you think they found?


This Is Me

I am not a stranger to the dark Hide away, they say 'Cause we don't want your broken parts I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars Run away, they say No one'll love you as you are But I won't let them break me down to dust I know that there's a place for us For we are glorious When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me Look out 'cause here I come And I'm marching on to the beat I drum I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in We are bursting through the barricades and Reaching for the sun (we are warriors) Yeah, that's what we've become (yeah, that's what we've become) I won't let them break me down to dust I know that there's a place for us For we are glorious When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me Look out 'cause here I come And I'm marching on to the beat I drum I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh This is me and I know that I deserve your love (Oh-oh-oh-oh) 'cause there's nothing I'm not worthy of (Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh) When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out This is brave, this is proof This is who I'm meant to be, this is me Look out 'cause here I come (look out 'cause here I come) And I'm marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on) I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out I'm gonna send a flood Gonna drown them out Oh This is me


After listening, students wrote their own positive self-talk messages. Later that day, we practiced another form of finding our own headspace and rhythm. We study the brain.


These kids make trying new things in my classroom fun and exciting - and to know its good for us; best job ever!




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