Through A Different Lens is a teacher led project sponsored by the Vancouver Foundation. This project involves teachers from K-12 who are focusing on alternative methods of instruction and assessment to help all students succeed.
This year SD67 has a focus on Well-being. We have a well-being series for educators in early learning, a series for educators K-5, and continuous work by our Health Promoting Schools Coordinator, Jenny Mitchell who works with students and staff. Every Wednesday, Jenny writes a Wellness Wednesday email and sends it out to all staff in Sd67. This week the Wellness Wednesday focused on Kindness in December. You might want to watch this video and try this with students or staff.
For the third year I gave out these blank calendars and challenged my high school classes to fill in each day. Truth be told, while some embraced the challenge, others moaned and a few chose to just repeat the same “Say Hi” for 21 days. One student questioned the validity of the assignment saying that if we are planning for a month of kind acts, they are not actually random act of kindness. Good point, but you still have to do the calendar.
Every year when I hand out the calendar or do a kindness bulletin I find myself getting lost in these big dreams of what could happen. You know, like to the kind of life-changing activity where students embrace the kindness challenge and make grandiose gestures across the school. As I have not yet witnessed these grand actions, and often feel teenage resistance, I find myself wondering if it is all worth it? Today I realized I think the problem is me.
As I keep looking for the BIG moments I miss all the many LITTLE moments that really matter. I miss the student that says hi to others for 25 days straight. I miss the student that opens the doors and searches out opportunities to give a compliment. I miss the student that says thank you after a class. I miss the student who picks up a dropped book after someone smiled at them. I miss the ripple effect. I miss all the little things that add up a culture of kindness.
Perhaps this year I should start looking out for all those little moments and celebrate and appreciate the big difference it makes to everyone across our community.