We are always working together to develop workable class mantras. By workable, I mean ideas that work for everyone in the class, are understood by everyone in the class and are meaningful to what we want to accomplish. I thought I would share some of my favorite “mantras” with everyone. What are some of your favorites? If you have some favorites yourself please post them to the end of the BLOG. Thank you!
1. Mantra One: We need solutions and not problems. This is to encourage students to come up with solutions to their problems instead of complaining. It is so easy to fall into the “I don’t WANT to do that activity” mode. This mantra encourages students to come up with workable solutions instead of complaining. This works well because in the process of coming up with workable solutions students are given wonderful opportunities to be creative and they are allowed to “be in the teacher’s (or parent’s) shoes” for a moment and experience the actual difficulty of coming up with ideas. A good example of this was two days ago a child in the enrichment class said, “I don’t want to make bread again!” When it was suggested that she find a solution to this “problem” she realized that she actually did want to make bread, she just didn’t want the same toppings on the bread so we found some additional selections for her and she enjoyed her bread very much!
2. Mantra Two: We need to keep the air clean too! This is a reminder that our words and attitude can pollute the air in the same way the dust or dirt can pollute a surface. If gossip ensues, or children are teasing or focusing on negative thoughts they can be encouraged to keep the air cleaner by putting happier, more peaceful thoughts into the air. This idea can be expanded on. You can have an “air cleaning” session with a sage stick and some positive thoughts said outloud by everyone or you can do a little “acting” and pretend you are wading through a thick sea of dirty air.
Repetition helps enforce the ideas so instead of repeating the ideas 500 times, the familiarity of making it a regular statement helps to reduce the need for repetition and encourages everyone to participate in the “reminding”. If you were to make a different comment every time someone complained it would become confusing to the child and would create an ongoing need for the parent or teacher to repeat their ideas over and over. When you use a “mantra” it makes it easier for the child to remember.
You can also create verses, poems or songs out of these mantras, you can draw them and hang them on the wall, or include them in the Main Lesson Book.