This is a powerful activity to use in the classroom at any time a student is in need of some extra love and care or as a focus activity during International Day of Friendship. It’s one we’ve included in the Ripple Kindness Project for Schools primary and elementary curriculum as it can have such an incredibly positive impact on children who are being acknowledged and complimented. read more →
I received many sweet and wonderful notes from my students. I still do on FB, even though I’m retired. read more →
It’s unknown who originally told this powerful story but it has been replicated over the years and there are now quite a few versions to be found on the net. Regardless of the variations, the story shares a powerful and motivational message. We enjoyed this video by Meir Kay and hope you share it with the significant people in your life. read more →
These funky little relaxation jars are so easy to make and are wonderful visual aid for helping kids calm themselves when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
They’re a popular aid for parents but we also encourage teachers to use them in the classroom and have included the instructions in our primary/elementary school curriculum. read more →
I teach at a Title I school (which means over 75% of our kids are on free/reduced breakfast/lunch status). Almost every morning one of my little fellows brings me FOOD from the cafeteria (an apple, pear, box of raisins…). read more →
I wanted to share an amazing experience we had in the past week.
My daughter attends a small private Lutheran Elementary School in Fort Wayne, IN. Last week, my daughter injured her heel and could not walk on it. After X-rays and a Dr visit, we arrived at school Tuesday morning in a wheelchair. For this small school community, to my knowledge, this was a new experience for the staff and students. read more →
It was Thanksgiving Lunch at Maggie’s Middle school.
As my son, John stood next to Maggie the vice-principal of the school came to meet him and said, “You must belong to Maggie”. John smiled and said, “Yes I do!”
The vice-principal told John what a lovely girl Maggie is. That she has a wonderful attitude and is friends with everyone. She also commented on the fact that as a new middle-schooler, each student got to choose an elective class. It could have been art or music and indeed one of the options was to work with the mentally handicapped. And this was the choice that Maggie had made; to be a peer tutor. read more →
Launched on 15 July 2016, it’s been an exciting time as Nourish Network finds its feet and place in the local community.
Nourish is a volunteer-based, holistic outreach program developed to educate, empower and support parents and guardians finding it difficult to provide for their families.
Working with local schools in the Yarra Ranges (outer east of Melbourne), families are selected based on circumstances and their willingness to participate and eventually give back to their community.
A member-only program, Nourish partners with SecondBite and local businesses and organizations to provide a weekly allocation of fruit, vegetables, bread, eggs, recipes and nutritional information, wellbeing resources, friendship, and support.
As well as providing nourishment for their bodies, we also aim to help heal their souls by providing a place for respite where people can connect with others in similar situations and enjoy a variety of activities and therapies.
We used 2016 as a pilot year with a small group to gain insight into the social, emotional and financial struggles our members face so we are better able to provide for their needs. read more →
My story is rather long, I hope that’s ok.
Let me start by telling you about my son, Peyton James.
He was born at 28 weeks gestation and weighed only 2.52 lbs. He spent 35 days in the NICU before being able to come home. While in the hospital, he spent 3 weeks on pure oxygen. What wasn’t known then was that the oxygen was causing a discoloration in the enamel of his permanent teeth – a problem that we wouldn’t see for several years. Because of these medications, his permanent teeth were a mottled yellow color. In second grade, the teasing began. “Why don’t you brush your teeth?” Why are your teeth so nasty?” and many other hurtful questions and comments were made. He was also picked on because of his hair, his glasses and the fact that he was smaller than most of the other boys. He was seen as weak and became a target. read more →
In September of 2005, Martha Cothren, a social studies schoolteacher from Arkansas did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom. The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, “Where’s our desks?” read more →
In the span of about 20 minutes I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to see almost every student enter the building. Some are dropped off by their parents. Others ride their bikes to school. But most of our students take the bus to school each morning.
I try to give as many students as possible a high five, a handshake or a hug. It is without a doubt one of the best parts of my school day. And while I look forward to seeing each and every child that enters the building, there are three girls that just always seem to make my day.
Invariably, one of them will see me first. Once she does, she comes to me. Arms wide open. Preparing for the biggest hug. The next girl latches on. Then another. Until some days we have what I like to call a three-person-hug. read more →
Gratitude … goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past, I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
– Henri J. M. Nouwen
Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend an education conference in San Francisco, CA. While I was there, I learned many exciting findings from the “science of happiness.” That weekend revolutionized my perspectives related to teaching and parenting. Since then I have been on a quest to create a happier classroom and to help other teachers do the same thing.
One lesson I learned at the conference pertains to the relationship between happiness and success. As recent research has shown, success does not always lead to happiness. Many of us know this from experience. For example, landing a highly coveted job and buying your dream home may not necessarily result in a blissful state. On the other hand, people who are happy tend to find success in school, at work, and in every domain in life. read more →