What a beautiful and touching story of giving.
story credit: WMUR
What a beautiful and touching story of giving.
story credit: WMUR
Teachers inspire the smallest hearts to grow big enough to change the world. Whether you have children in school now or you’re a grown-up who wants to send a thank-you gift to an influential teacher from your past, this short inspirational video is a great way to share a message of gratitude with, and for, educators.
To my fallen colleagues,
I heard your stories today on the radio, on my way to school. I heard what you did to protect your students. I learned about your last act of bravery, of love, of kindness. The profound impact of your actions stays with me today, and will always.
As I walk around my school, I see my fellow teachers with new eyes. See, I always knew they lived and taught with love, kindness, compassion, and knowledge. But as I looked at them today, I saw you.
I saw what you did in all of them.
The quiet bravery. The willingness to stand up for children, be it in meetings, conversations, reports or calling out for support. It is in each of them. Then to your extreme last act of love, of selflessness. I see this too, deep behind their eyes. I know they would do the same thing. My colleagues, they would act as you did.
You showed America the heart and soul of teachers. This undervalued, underpaid, often criticized much maligned profession called teaching.
As more and more people tell us we aren’t good enough, we aren’t doing enough, our educational system is failing, I see my colleagues working through lunch breaks. Researching into the night. Calling parents, meeting with students, and trying everything they can do to make their students successful, happy and engaged.
I see teachers working tirelessly each day to not only teach math, literacy, writing, grammar, spelling, science and social studies but also kindness, empathy, bravery, civic engagement and perspective taking.
They work against a sea of bad press, violent media, corporations looking to market childhood, and crumbling family responsibilities.
I feel the loss of you in our army for good. In our army for children. But we will march on in your absence. We will see each other with new eyes. Maybe people will see us differently now too. Maybe they will treat us with the respect of someone who can save lives. Or die trying.
And I hope this will change the world. More humanity for teachers and for children. More childhood in childhood. More love, kindness, empathy, knowledge, compassion, and acts of true bravery.
Maybe now our politicians will have the courage to act in ways that will keep more children safe. If they use half of the bravery you showed on December 14, 2012, they should be just fine.
We will miss you and your daily work with children. Thousands of us will carry you in our hearts each day, especially when we act bravely to stand up for kids, to demand help, and to force change when the bureaucracy seems to not budge.
It is in your honor that we do so.
Katy Farber is an elementary school teacher, parent, blogger, and author of
“Why Great Teachers Quit” and other books and articles.
For more, visit her blog, Non-Toxic Kids.
Well, the new school year is underway. I, for one, am eager to see and hear what Gregg Breinberg, aka Mr. B, and his 5th grade musicians at PS22 on Staten Island, New York have planned for this year. If you are not familiar with the PS22 chorus, have I got a surprise for you!
The remarkable passion and commitment of a teacher in a big inner city school has culminated year after year in remarkable music and a group of marked and remarkable kids. They are marked for life with the knowledge that they can achieve anything that they envision, plan for, and work hard for. They are remarkable for their astonishing musical accomplishments as group. I’m not sure, but I’ll bet these kids can’t wait for school to start each year.
Mr. B is a wonderful example of practicing GYA on the job.
Below are three of the many performances that you will find by searching ‘PS22’ on YouTube.
Rehearsal with Celtic Woman:
Performing at the Academy Awards:
Also, here are two wonderful and informative articles about Mr. B and the kids.
As I mentioned yesterday, I heard from Andy Smallman who, along with his wife Melinda Shaw, is the founder and director of the Puget Sound Community School, aka: “The Kindness School.” I was quite pleased to learn that Andy found our post about the school himself and that he is also an active WordPress blogger (kindliving). You can also read a short bio of this kindness and education innovator on the school’s site (http://pscs.org/profiles/andy-smallman/).
I let Andy know that we received a ton of feedback and praise about him, the kids, and the school. Here is Andy’s response:
NOTE: Don’t miss the part about the opportunity for us to join in, free of charge, online “Power of Kindness” classes offered by Andy. (I believe I did mention something about Continuing Ed.) 🙂
Thank you so much for posting the “Kindness School” video on your blog last week. I’ve been quite touched by the number of people who have been inspired by the video and by our school, Puget Sound Community School in Seattle. It’s interesting to note that we’ve focused on kindness and gratitude since the school was founded in 1994, but have really started getting attention for it in the last couple of years. I think that’s a very positive sign related to more and more people seeing the significance of kindness as opposed to it being a “fluffy” extra. For the students, I think all the attention has been a little surprising, given how kindness and gratitude are just so ingrained in the school culture. It’s not something “special” or “extra,” just part of what we do, you know?
Like I said, we’ve been offering opportunities to consider and expand on the concept of kindness since 1994, including online classes that are open to anyone in the world. I have a new class starting on April 8 called “The Power of Kindness” and would like to invite your readers to join. To learn more, including how to sign up, have them contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost to participate.
For people wanting to learn more about our school, I invite them to visit our website (http://www.pscs.org). And for those interested in learning more about my personal efforts about promoting kindness, please point them to my wife’s and my Kind Living project (http://kindliving.net).
Thanks again, Paul!
Thank YOU, Andy. We wish you, the school, and your projects success and abundance. You exemplify what GYA—Give Yourself Away—is all about.