We’ve all had that dreadful teacher moment–the time when a student vomits all over you or your behaviorally-challenged student forgets his meds during a full moon. It’s that moment that sends shivers down your spine, makes you question your career choice and urges you to head for the hills and never look back. However, those 25 bright, shiny faces are staring at you, waiting for your reaction and depending on you to remain cool, calm and collected.

In times like these, rely on your Keep Calm and Teach On board, a special reflective space that helps you de-stress, regain composure and focus on the big picture.  This board should reflect your personality, interests and favorites. Fill with special pictures, mementos, dreams and aspirations.

Board Set-Up:  First I gathered several of my treasured pictures and mementos and then narrowed down to my absolute favorites. I measured my dimensions of my allotted space and replicated my board on a large table, rearranging several times until I found the perfect arrangement.  It took only about 10 minutes to hang (thanks to my trusty glue gun). layout

Here’s what I included on my board:

Believe: This is a powerful reminder to believe in myself and stay focused on my aspirations. believe

Travel: My husband, Brett, and I love to travel; this is a picture of us in Napa (one of our favorite destinations).


Teacher Barbie: Brett bought this for me as a Back to School gift one year because I love Barbies and this is a personal replica (I even have a similar outfit).


The Beach: This is  definitely my happy place and a great visualization in times of stress.


Kitty Perry: As many know, I love cats and Katy Perry; this card is the perfect blend of both.

Kitty Perry

Sawyer & Jack: Here’s our two “babies” as tiny kittens.

Sawyer and Jack

A Crayon: I love art and creating new things–it’s probably my favorite part of teaching.


High Heels: I have a love affair with shoes (I’m working on it) and you will find me wearing high heels everyday, no exceptions.

High heels

Besides providing some stress relief, my Keep Calm and Teach On board helped organized my desk area. I moved all of my important, yet unsightly school paperwork (staff phone list, parent directory, special notes, etc.) and taped to the inside of my cabinets right behind my desk. Now I’m ready to tackle any classroom challenge that comes my way!

I’d love to hear your Keep Calm and Teach On ideas! Please share your suggestions and comments below.





  1. That sounds like an awesome board Sarah! We’d love to connect with you in Napa sometime. 🙂

  2. Yes! I have my Mud Run bibs & medals, pictures of my son and husband, and a picture of my sister and I for my 30th birthday dressed up as old ladies. Yes. Old ladies. Professional photographs. I feel like, If I can survive all those things and still have a smile, I can survive anything (with a smile, of course)!

    BTW, let me know next time you’re in Napa (I live here)!

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