Schools use posters for all kinds of reasons, and school administrators have the power to promote the messages that are most important to students. In an effort to combat some of the most problematic social challenges that exist within a school environment, it can be easy to overlook the power of a positive message. Positive messages encourage students, boost self-esteem, promote inclusivity, and help foster an environment of cooperation. Posters are an inexpensive and effective way to introduce these and other valuable positive messages into any learning environment.
More than Just Learning
Children spend a considerable amount of time inside the classroom; this time is consistent and structured towards educational goals. However, more than just learning takes place within the school environment. A positive message can and should accompany the learning process.
Positive reinforcement of the ideas and standards we collectively strive towards can make the classroom a more enjoyable place to learn. These are some of the valuable messages that school administrators can communicate through posters and other printed materials:
· Healthy self-esteem
· Kindness, compassion, and empathy
· Graduation and consistent school attendance
· Good citizenship
Optimistic imagery and encouraging words can have a powerful effect on the student body, teachers, administrators, and visitors.
A Message Meant for Everyone
Another important aspect of creating an environment of positive messages is making sure that these messages are as accessible as possible. Bilingual signs and posters in languages other than English can go a long ways towards reaching out to students who otherwise may not fully benefit from the presence of these posters.
A sizable immigrant community is likely to indicate the need for language-inclusive posters, though there are other reasons to incorporate non-English signs into the learning environment. Many students come from homes where other languages are spoken. Bilingual students whose first language is not English may have difficulty grasping the nuanced messages of some of these posters; an alternative sign can include all students in the positive message.
Posters can play a significant role in creating a learning environment that is positive as well as educational. Selecting posters that communicate a strong and consistently positive message is important, as is seeking out posters that can speak to a diverse student population.