Making a Difference with Compassionate Teaching
This teacher truly understands what is important.
In this Daily Good article, Glennon Doyle Melton talks about discovering a teacher who has been quietly making a difference for her students ever since the mass shooting at Columbine. Rather than raving against guns or violence, she quietly works to create caring kids and a more compassionate world.
Glennon tells an engaging story of going to meet her son’s teacher about learning math. What she ended up learning was entirely different. They talked about teaching young minds and hearts to make a difference. That teaching love and community are more important than reading and math.
Every Friday this teacher has her students write down the names of four kids that they would like to sit with next week. The kids have learned that they may or may not get their wish. Rather than looking for who is popular or not, the teacher is looking for patterns of disconnection. Who never gets requested? Who was requested a lot and not now? Who can’t think of anyone to request?
She is looking for lonely children who may be struggling to connect with their classmates. As Glennon notes, this is a brilliant strategy to mine for nuggets of wisdom about her students. Who needs help and what can she do? This process may even help with bullying. Most kids won’t admit to being bullied, but a change in behavior may signal a problem.
Chase’s teacher has been quietly helping her students for over 18 years! And helping to make the world a better and safer place. She understands that most violence is committed by people who feel disconnected. Similarly, drug addiction has been shown to be driven by isolation, not the drug itself. Therefore the biggest factor in breaking an addiction is creating social connections, not removing the drug!
In case you’d like to learn more about the power of social connections, here is an article from The Mental Health Organization. Social connection is at the core of our mental health. It can help boost the quality of our lives, create better mental and emotional health, help us live longer, and decrease the risk of suicide. That’s a lot of benefit from building social connections!
We need more of our teachers and leaders to understand the power of connection. What a beautiful world we could create with more caring, kindness, and social connections.
Peace out, Brad