My school is over 2,000 miles away from Sandy Hook yet even we felt the ripple of sadness and outrage. We've seen the changes to our school security: a new fence around our playground, scan card entry into the school building, security officer on campus, etc. All valid security measures, but each and every one is a sad reminder as to why. This month the people of Newtown, CT have asked everyone to commit random acts of kindness in honor of the students and teachers of Sandy Hook. Our class could not be happier to answer their call!
I told the kids about my morning and how I was in line at McDonald's to get an orange juice. When I pulled up to pay, I told the cashier to pay for the man behind me and tell him it was a random act of kindness. As I was waiting for my food I saw him try to pay and the cashier shook her no and started talking to him. He looked VERY confused, which was funny but sad at the same time. As a society we are more shocked about people doing something nice for one another than we are when someone is rude. Then all of a sudden she took his credit card. Well this girl's Texas/Irish sass flared up! I was so mad that she would make him pay for a meal that was already paid for, but then in a split second I saw him point behind him and realized he was just paying it forward :o)
As a whole, we then came up with ways we've helped someone and how it made it us feel. After much discussion and excitement, we came up with different ideas of things we could do around the school and our community. They came up with some GREAT ideas but the first one they wanted to do was create holiday book marks for another class!
With every act they do, they leave one of these little calling cards! Click on the image below to grab five different designs of this card for FREE! My act of kindness to you for the day :o)
Many things will stick with me from this tragedy but this is one of the most moving things I have ever read and it has been a mantra for myself and many other teachers this past year, "Don't let them suck your fun circuits dry." If you have not read this letter from one of the parents at Sandy Hook, it is very heart-felt and moving and a powerful reminder of why we do what we do. Through all the ups and downs, the changes from people who have never even stepped foot in a classroom, to the people who tell you "you aren't doing enough" when you're up at 1 am coming up with different ways for Johnny to learn his multiplication facts; always remember why you're there and don't let them suck your fun circuits dry! Click here to read it.
No matter what is thrown our way, always remember we are there for our kids. To love them and help them grow in any way we can. They don't remember that you're the one who taught them how to bubble in an answer sheet. They remember that you're the one who decorated their desk and made them feel special on their birthday. You're the one who noticed the new haircut or backpack and complimented them when they thought no one was looking. You're the one that showed them their special talent was worth something in life and taught them to always reach for the stars.
As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.