Teaching Peace, Hope, Love, and Kindness

Thursday, April 25, 2013
I think it's safe to say we all need a hearty dose of each these days. I might have mentioned it before, but there are quite a few tensions in my 3rd and 4th grade class, many of them stemming from home countries and cultures; these are fueled by the students all living in the same apartment complex. One day in October or November, a student was struggling to pick up papers that had fallen on the floor.  I was busy with a group, so I called out to another student, "Hey, _____, help a brother out." Well. That stopped everyone in their tracks- I got a lot of "Ewww!" and "He's not my brother!"  I explained to them that in our classroom, we are a family and we help each other whenever we can.  They didn't seem to get it.

It all changed a few days later, when we read the story Wings, by Christopher Myers, which is an awesome anti-bullying book.  In the story, the boy who has wings is ostracized for being different.  We talked about how each one of us is different in good ways, and that eventually led us to talking about being a classroom family.  Now, when someone needs help, you'll hear someone call out, "Hey, help a brother out!"


Later in the year, I co-taught a lesson with our guidance intern on iMessages.  It comes in very useful as a peace-keeping strategy, and teaches students how to interact with kind words, instead of harsh words.  I wish someone had taught me iMessages when I was a kid!


I also try to infuse anti-bullying in the passages I write for my own students.   I wrote this for students who had low self-esteem issues, and it carries right over to my students this year, who need the extra boost of motivation to make friends and speak up in classes besides mine. And besides, what kid doesn't love superheroes?!


At the end of the day, I try to teach by example.  If I demonstrate a peaceful demeanor and treat others with love and kindness, I believe my students will pick up on that.  

8 comments:

  1. You are peaceful, kind, patient, and tolerant! You're a great role model for students {and teachers too!}

    Halle
    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

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  2. This is perfect for the linky. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for linking up!!
    Jivey

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  3. I love the iMessage idea! A lot of students have problems verbalizing how they feel, and if they don't have problems with that, their conversation always begins with, "YOU did this!"

    Mandy
    http://the4thgradejourney.blogspot.com/2013/04/peace-and-lovin.html

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  4. I am glad I found you through the linky! What a touching story...I will definitely have to check out our library for the book Wings. It sounds like a great story and something that would be great to refer to all year as differences come up in the classroom.

    Thanks for sharing all of these great resources!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

    PS I am your newest follower!

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  5. I really like the idea of iMessages. We have some students struggling to get along because of differing religions. I am sure you are an amazing example for your students. You have been one of the kindest teachers I have met blogging. You are always willing to help, and I am so glad to have met you.

    Amy
    Eclectic Educating

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  6. This is great! Thank you so much for linking up!! I bet it can be difficult teaching so many grade levels and groups of kids but you are handling it beautifully it sounds!

    (My 4 years I taught with ESOL students we had the same thing- all from the same apt complex and all with different beliefs...= hard!)
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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  7. I love your post! I'm not familiar with that book-pinning it now! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!
    Joanne
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

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