As impressive as they were, I was more moved by the short presentation that preceded the campaign speeches. A group of fifth grade students (and one 4th grader) made a direct appeal to their peers about playground responsibility and care of the equipment.
It turns out that several items of playground equipment, shovels, wheelbarrows and the like, have been left out of the shed at the end of recess. It has been this group of student leaders who have taken it upon themselves to make sure the equipment is stowed away, safe and dry at the end of the day. Their message was simple: take care of our stuff, and clean up after yourself.
What was striking to me was that this was no prepared speech. It was a simple message for the common good, incorporating our key values of respect and responsibility.
Mandy Stepanovsky read the book How Full Is Your Bucket? to our Kindergarten and first grade classes this week. The preschool teachers read this book to their classes each year . I know Mary Pearsall and teachers of older students have also used the book and incorporated the language into their classroom dialogues.
Many of you know the book, but if you don’t, the message is a wonderful one. Through the story of a boy named Felix, the book explains how being kind not only helps others, it helps us too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people: some are happy, but others are grumpy or sad. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’s grandfather explains why the happy people make
|First grade: TC Eileen Clancy and teacher |
Beth Huennekens with students
My bucket was certainly filled by listening to students at our school ask their friends to vote for them, and to help them make the school a better place.
Each week Mandy asks students and teachers to share with her what she is calling “awesomeness”. She is asking people around the school to tell her stories of someone helping someone else, of someone giving a compliment, or of a kind deed. Mandy shares these tales of awesomeness at our Friday gathering – anonymously. We think it’s important to share when our collective or individual buckets are getting filled.
Parents are also invited to share the “awesomeness” with Mandy. Please catch her in the hallways or zip her an email.
While these stories are not the cornerstones of our social/emotional curriculum that I shared with elementary parents at Back-To-School Night (which is available on our website), they are just the small everyday things that make belonging to our community so wonderful.
I hope your bucket is filled by someone today and that you have an opportunity to help fill someone else’s.