Holman teacher blankets classroom with positive messages to build relationships with students
Holman teacher blankets classroom with positive messages to build relationships with students
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
When Noelle Robinson’s seventh grade English language arts students enter her classroom at Holman Middle School, they see positive messages on the back of every chair and on top of every table.

“I just wanted them to see or hear something positive every day whenever they come into class,” Robinson said. “I told them my objective for this year is for them to feel unconditionally loved and accepted and for all students to learn in a safe and welcoming environment.”

This is her first year teaching in Pattonville but eighth overall, and when creating her classroom this summer, the idea to post the messages just came to her.

“I wish I could say I got this from Pinterest or something, but no, I actually made this one up,” she said. “The first 15 were easy, but the last few were a little harder. I didn't want to repeat anything.”

She uses the positive sayings for more than just decoration because she uses them as an instructional tool.

“I'll use them to tell students where to go sit,” she said. “I say go to the chair that says this. I also color-coded their tables but instead of saying blue table or red table, I tried putting growth mindset words in those colors instead.”

Robinson has seen the impact her words have made already.

“I feel like it helps me to build a positive rapport with my students from the beginning,” Robinson said. “I already have a lot of good relationships with some of the kids and it’s because I talk to them.”

Don’t believe the difference it makes? Just look at what is on her desk.  

"On the second day of school, a student brought me a flower because she noticed that I like plants,” she said. “I talk to them about their life and they talk to me about my life. It’s just real talk, but it’s always positive.”

Shown below are some of the messages in Robinson's class.

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