When kids leave at the end of each and every class, I yell out as they’re spilling out into the hall, “Have a nice day; Be nice to each other; Smile often; Tell your Mom and Dad you love them; Do something good for the world.”
I’ve done this now for a number of years. Sometimes I don’t – when I’m really frustrated with a class, but for the most part, I faithfully yell this out. The kids know this and after a couple weeks into a term, some students even help me yell it out.
I suppose that in this world of cell phones, constant negative news, stress, etc., etc., it was a reminder to myself and then to the kids that world is a good place and that we can choose to be grateful, to be caring and loving, and to remember the ‘real’ important things in our lives.
Shortly after the end of one 9 week term and the beginning of another, a larger group of – believe it or not – 7th grade boys from the previous term, shows up at the start of a class period and hands me a painting, apparently made just for me. The picture is of a tree. And all the boys signed it.
Though you never know what they were saying exactly, it sure seemed genuine. I sure do hope, sincerely, that those boys now get it. And that they remember, often, the importance of doing something good for the world.
And maybe someday, they will have started a movement and that it spreads.
Wouldn’t that be cool!?
So….in a similar simplistic vein as Robert Fulghum and his wonderfully crafted, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten…...“Have a nice day; Be nice to each other; Smile often; Tell your Mom and Dad you love them; Do something good for the world.”