Our building-wide goal this year is to practice 21st century communication skills in every class. This can take a wide variety of forms, allowing teachers to tailor it to each of their classes.
My fabulous co-teacher recommended we practice writing formal thank you letters as our skill, so that’s what we did today in Intermediate.
When you stray from the normal pace of class, you never quite know how kids are going to take it: they may embrace it enthusiastically; they may throw a fit; they may just sit and refuse to do anything; they may do anything in between. So you think about how you want to present the idea and what guidelines you want to give and not give and then you hope for the best. (And also decide what you’re going to do in case of the worst.)
To our delight, most of the kids didn’t seem to think it strange at all and sat and wrote their sweet notes. Some wrote to their friends, some to their parents, some to teachers. I told the kids they could go hand-deliver their notes if it was to a teacher in the building. They were unbelievably cute as they put stickers on their notes and walked proudly down the halls to give their letters.
Giving–it’s so ingrained in human nature, I think. We love to give. We love to make other people happy. Every one of us does.
We teachers give to our kids, but today I saw the importance of letting my kids give, too. Of carving out time just for them to reflect on goodness and then to give back.
Yes, they’re practicing communication skills; but more importantly, they’re practicing gratitude and kindness.
The wisdom that comes from God is first utterly pure, then peace-loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions, with no breath of favouritism or hint of hypocrisy. And the wise are peace-makers who go on quietly sowing for a harvest of righteousness—in other people and in themselves.
-James 3:17-18, emphasis added