It’s Not Just in the Classroom
Are you still enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer? Are you relishing the warmer weather and still recuperating from the harsh, brutal winter many people witnessed in 2015? Are you still looking forward to vacations and fun times planned with family and friends? Or are you starting to prepare once more for the next school year?
Just as academics are an important part of any one’s education, other important lessons can be taught by example to your children and anyone else with whom you interact. Teaching kindness and compassion in what you do or say is equally important for anyone’s growth and development.
With so much violence and negativity, judgement and criticism, prejudice and bullying evident in social cultures across the globe, consider ways to ACTIVELY change lives around you for the better through kindness and compassion. The new school year season can become an opportunity to teach other valuable life lessons, not just reading, writing, and math.
- If you are in a financial position to do so, consider buying some extra school supplies for a family you know who may be struggling to meet the requirements on “the list”. Or check in your community to see if there are opportunities to donate supplies, from pencils to refurbished or new electronics. Any help, no matter how small or large, is still help for someone.
- Send your child to school the first day with a basket of supplies that most teachers use through the year. Show your support for those that are in one of the noblest professions of all. Where would any of us be in whatever profession we do if it weren’t for some of the great teachers who taught us? Showing appreciation and respect to teachers is a great example to set for your children.
- Are there new families in your neighborhood that have moved in during the summer with school age children? Starting a new school year can be daunting for some children, and if they are in a new neighborhood going to a new school, having a friend or two can make the experience less stressful. Initiate the connection.
- If you are a teenager or college student and like working with children, can you offer some time to mentor a child that may need extra help with studies? Or if you are academically gifted, can you offer to mentor a peer student in your classes?
- There is a lot of controversy over the caliber of school lunches. But nutrition is yet another part of helping someone with maximum physical and mental performance in learning. Can you offer to pack an extra lunch for a less fortunate child in a family that is struggling financially?
- Will this be the year you finally donate serviceable outerwear that is no longer worn or fits anyone in your household, or buy a coat to give warmth to another?
- Can you singly or form a group to host “study nights”, thereby giving respite to other parents and further enforce a spirit of community and sharing in academic struggles for your children?
- Will you discuss bullying- what it is, how to spot it, how to prevent it or report it, with your children?
- What other ideas can you implement to make kindness, consideration and compassion a part of your child’s learning?
Teaching and learning are not exclusive to books and classes. There is so much more to life and its lessons that are found outside of books. Kindness and compassion don’t always require finances, just a caring personality.
Wishing you health, living your best life, and a successful school year.