“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”
Teaching a class of 25 fifth grade students can be rewarding, eye-opening, touching, hilarious, and above-all thoroughly exhausting, so when the class Moms got together to give me a massage as an end of the school year gift, I literally cried and hugged my students.
My students know that I love giving, and understand how important it is to make the people you love, feel loved. They also know that gift giving does not require spending money. I make a habit of reading the children’s book, “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” to my class halfway through the school year. This book teaches the importance of kindness and empathy through everyday actions like passing sweet notes to friends, drawing pictures for your grandparents, or even by simply saying, “Good Morning and Thank you” to the bus driver.
I always match the reading of the book with an activity. I have each of my students draw a bucket on a piece of paper. Each person writes his/her name at the top of the piece of paper and when I say Go, the students pass the paper around the room. Everyone writes one positive, anonymous comment about each person in his/her bucket. At the end of the task, my students glow as they read the nice things their classmates have to say about them; they understand what a full bucket means, and how important it is to do random kind deeds for other people.