NEW! Caution! Minds at work is now in other languages!

Health and Safety for sparky brains
Caution! Minds at work
Smiles should be worn at all times
Two-way respect here
All ideas count
Keep open mind
See different points of view
Thinking class beyond this point
Be someone else's hero
No question too big or small
Mistakes welcomed
Expect the unexpected
Keep clear focus
Learning is a team sport
Don't settle for less than your best
Positive attitudes to be displayed at all times
Expect success
Read your work carefully
Celebrate your achievements
Sparky imaginations nearby
Stay calm! Don't lose your head
No negativity allowed here
Aim high
Caution! Make sure work gets finis
Don't follow the crowd
Ideas in construction

<< Click through the gallery or download PDF

What do a New York street artist and motivating your class have in common?

Our 'Caution! Minds at work' posters, that's what...

'Caution! Minds at work' is a free set of 26 posters, the inspiration for which came from hearing about a street artist in New York (called 'TRUE'). He tried to brighten up the otherwise dull journeys of commuters on the subways by producing Health and Safety stickers with alternative, positive messages on.

These stickers mimicked the style of the official notices which were displayed on the trains, telling travellers what to do and what not to do. The twist was that TRUE's stickers showed optimistic messages... Where there was once 'Mind The Gap', he stuck his 'Life Instructions' labels encouraging commuters to not hold grudges and smile more.

Image © TRUE
Whilst we like the design idea, we obviously don't endorse covering up actual Health and Safety notices. Not too clever.

Despite his unorthodox methods, the project worked well because the design of Health and Safety signs is so recognisable, people hardly took a second look. (When was the last time you stopped to read a 'Keep door shut' sign?) But those commuters that glanced upwards did a double-take, noticed that the message they were seeing was out of the ordinary... And smiled.

'Caution! Minds at work' is our way of helping you reinforce the motivational messages you use every day in your classroom. Like the fact that in your classroom humour is a valued part of the day, that respect is a two-way thing and that mistakes are not as terrible as they're cracked up to be - in fact they're positively welcomed.

Using a healthy mix of these positive messages and subtle humour (although the poster on the right may be too subtle first thing on a Monday morning...) 'Caution! Minds at work' is about nurturing the sorts of attitudes that'll help your learners fly...

It's Health and Safety for brains.

Who knows? One day we may get them made into actual posters. In the meantime, you're welcome to download the PDF (7.17 MB) and enjoy.

NEW! Welsh version : 'Rhybudd! Meddyliau ar waith' (with thanks to Gareth Edmondson of Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr for the translation)

NEW! Portuguese version : 'Cuidado! Cérebros a trabalhar (with thanks to Isabel Mendinhos for the translation)

Calling all linguists! If you you let us know poster translations, we'll do the rest!

If you appreciate the time that has gone into providing this resource for free, please consider making a small donation...

'Caution! Minds at work' images and text © Sparky Teaching 2009
Thanks to Codrops for the use of their neat Bookblock gallery plugin above.

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