The Affirmative Classroom Curriculum

“Teaching the student to study the self.”

                                               All artwork for The Affirmative classroom has been created by Kyle Stevenson. Professor of Painting and Drawing at Mercer County College, West Windsor, NJ

All artwork for The Affirmative classroom has been created by Kyle Stevenson. Professor of Painting and Drawing at Mercer County College, West Windsor, NJ

The Affirmative Classroom Curriculum contains 40 lessons which are based entirely on breath, movement, mindfulness, and personal reflection. The core foundation of each lesson is an affirmation that the class will hold onto as a whole throughout the week. The lesson should be delivered the first day of the week; early in the morning. This lesson and affirmation is a way to set the tone for the week. It is also a way to bring the class together as a whole. The entire intro. lesson should take no longer than 5 minutes. The days following the Intro. lesson should begin the day with the affirmation, breath, mediation, pose, and self-reflection. While in the pose, the students must hold the pose for at least 8-10 breaths. This exercise should take no longer than 30 seconds to a minute. It is also supportive for the student to practice this breath, movement, and affirmation before a transition, before testing, or any time the teacher sees the needs to bring the energy level to a more focused place in the classroom. Revisit the breath, pose, and affirmation throughout the remainder of the week. The Affirmative Classroom Curriculum is broken down into six steps as follows:

Affirmation: By repeating the affirmation three times, this solidifies in the child’s mind the positivity and power that they carry inside of them. The child who struggles with low self-esteem will especially benefit from this simple exercise.

Pose: The students will learn body awareness and focus, as well as physical strength in mind and body. At the close of the program, the student will have learned 40 Yoga poses.

Breath: Breathing is a key function to living. We are told to breathe when we need to calm down or feel anxious. We are told to take deep breaths after exercise as a means to get the body grounded and refocused. We are not entirely sure why the breath works in such a magical way, but it does. Science does share that through three deep abdominal breaths, the parasympathetic nervous system is enacted through the vagus nerve which sends a calming signal to the brain.

Meditation: In this portion, the teacher will guide the student through a short meditation. Kids are amazingly good at this, especially when given an age appropriate setting and/or visualization. These meditations can be revisited at any point during the year.

Student Self Reflection: Each lesson asks the students to quietly reflect on some simple questions. Depending upon the age of the student, the questions can be simplified or expanded. Through self reflection, the student learns of his/her own unique voice. And that voice matters!

Speak Your Truth:

The purpose of the teacher follow up is so that the students can feel a greater sense of one-ness as a class. This follow up will also encourage children who are often reserved about sharing to feel safe to speak their truth. The option of sharing is completely up to the student. The students should not be asked to share if they do not want to. Over time, the class will feel more emotionally connected and will have a deeper sense of respect for one another and their individuality.