School projects which include sharing and giving are so important. They teach life lessons of empathy and kindness, as well as caring and compassion. Students who experience the intrinsic glow and warmth of knowing they have made a difference will grow up to become citizens who understand the importance of charity. In a world that has gone crazy with barbarism and beheadings, kindness and caring are the intangibles that can make all of our lives better.
I urge all teachers to get your classes involved with a charity. Work with a local food bank or hospital. Become part of a local church drive. Coats, blankets, and small everyday supplies like soap and toothpaste are always welcomed at homeless shelters. An easy an fun choice is to have a classroom mitten tree or a mini food drive. Be sure to ask your administration first, but get your students involved in something positive! In my 37 years as a teacher, I know that a certain kind of 'magic" happens when everyone is working toward the same goal, and that students actually get to know and respect each other more through charitable initiatives. There is so much need in our country, that finding a project will not be a problem!
I hope you will let me know about any charities you and your classroom are promoting. I would love to share your successes with my readers.
One of my favorite quotes about empathy is from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, by Harper Lee, which I taught for 35 years:
“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and i would make signed copies avaialble for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . The website www.gradygetsglasses.com will be up and running within the next week. Signed copies will be available!
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