This week a story went viral of a young man working in a grocery store spending time letting an autistic boy help him stock shelves.
Here’s the page on CNN, or click on the screenshot below.
While there are several versions of the video available, the CNN story includes footage of the store employee, Jordan Taylor, speaking on camera and clearly overcome by the reaction to the kindness that came naturally to him.
We all have students who are like Jordan. They are quiet, good kids, who often don’t know how much power they have to bring happiness to others via the little decisions they make each day.
Celebrating the little moments of kindness is something we don’t do enough. When you see a student helping someone else, do you share that with other teachers or the student’s family? When you see a colleague spending extra time to help someone else, do you share that with your school’s leaders?
Each of us has the power to help build a professional atmosphere at our schools. That atmosphere is best characterized by the type of messages that are most frequently shared. Are they about our ability to reach others, or something else?
I have visited schools where the dominant message is one of suspicion and/or complaint. That kind of setting can suck the soul out of those whose hope is to devote their energy to helping kids, and risks causing these strong teachers to move to new schools.
When you have the pleasure of seeing kindness happen, find a way to share it. Doing so allows you to be part of what allows a school to become the kind of place where kids want to learn, and where teachers want to be the best they can be.
Our Easiest Book Study Ever! for Making Your Teaching Something Special is in full swing, and ready to add anyone ready to join in. You’ll find minimal reading and plenty of ideas to make you a better teacher. Please give our online space from Participate and Illinois Computing Educators a look for more details.