Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reflection Journals and Student Responses

One of my reflection journal questions this month was "Why should we care about people we don't know?" This prompt was after several whole class discussions that were closesly related to that prompt. Most students shared their thoughts, and one student was puzzled as to why one would even consider helping someone that they didn't even know. I took this as an opportunity to shed some light on a concept that I wish wasn't so foreign sounding.

After reading my students' response, I felt like I needed to share some of them.

Student A's response:

"We should care about people we don't know because their difficulties may be your own in the future."

To me this student's response was very insightful and sees it as an opportunity to learn.

Student B's response:

"We should care about other people because if you help you might get help in return. Also you should help because everyone will know you as a nice young man or young girl."

This student's response demonstrates the belief that the reciprocal benefits of caring for others are beneficial to the "self."

Another Reflection Journal response that I want to share is for the prompt: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted." (Courtesy of Aesop)

Student response: "It is good to be kind all the time because if you do something good someone will be kind to you. So it is like god is repaying you."

Very sensitive and sweet response from a male student.

The last Reflection Journal response I would like to share today is for the prompt: "How can one person make a difference in the life of another?"

Student response: You can make a difference in the life of another by giving them care and shelter and filling their heart with joy."

It is because of the responses I have shared that I have hope that future generations will be compassionate people.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What our Public Education is missing!

These videos are a documentary of an amazing teacher. A teacher of LIFE LESSONS!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beyond the Textbooks

Almost everyday I have my students write in a reflection journal. For part of their morning work students must copy either a quote or a question from the board and then reflect on what the quote means to them or answer the thought provoking question. All of the quotes and questions are usually based on life lessons, character, dreams, choices, etc. Most students truly enjoy doing this. Every two weeks I collect all of the reflection journals, read each one, and then write comments back to the students. This means a lot to them and it shows that I care about what they have to say.

The following is an example of a quote that I have used in the past:

'Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail'.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you question whether or not this is the job for:

The power of being a teacher is great. Read the story at the link below. Feel free to comment.


It is the little things that we can say that make such a big difference

At the end of my first year as a teacher, I had my class write down something nice for 8 different students (which were randomly chosen). After collecting and compiling all of the comments I picked out the best ones for all 27 students. During the last week of school I passed out a typed document for each student with about 5-8 nice things about them. Some of the students were so happy that their peers had something nice to say abou them. For some it was apparent that they were not used to such nice compliments from their peers.

When I started searching for inspirational stories to add to my website, I came across this story and it made me think about what I did.