Awesome Stories 382

This week Awesome Stories brings you the power of creating connections.teaching kindness, Awesome Stories

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 


29 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 382

  1. Connection is so important. It gets so tricky when you’re dealing with introverts who want to know they matter, but actually going out in the world and connecting with others can seem to be an exhausting task. I love what this teacher is doing: making connections and looking for patterns in kids EARLY before they get entrenched in self-defeating thoughts that they are not enough, or that they don’t matter. I always love the stories you find – truly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant !!! What an amazing, big picture thinker she is!!! Great stuff. I so admire people with the ability to see beyond where they are to be able to see what is needed to become more…Thanks for sharing Brad. VK 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good Morning Brad. What a fantastic post this is. As I read it, I was reminded of the ‘negative space’ in a painting….something that is often neglected. People try so hard to change what is the obvious without realising that often it’s something that’s not so obvious which changes everything. In an ideal world, all teaching would be of this nature. Thank you and hope you enjoy a lovely autumn week. Janet 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reading this is beautiful and inspiring. It reminds me of my dear friend who is currently bringing mindfulness into schools with a pioneer program she’s been helping to design and implement, starting at her own high school alma mater. It’s exciting how she is a part of this movement. It’s a new career for her, too! She is deriving so much pleasure and meaning from it, and training others to do the same type of mindfulness training with students.

    I find this teacher’s strategy, in this awesome story, interesting. I do hope she can find, reach, and support those students who are sadly disconnected and in need of finding a meaningful role among their peers and maybe even at home. It’s refreshing to see when teachers have more Freedom to implement their creative teaching/and learning methods! When I tutored and did informational interviewing at the Navajo reservation over a decade ago, many teachers felt restricted by the administration, and teachers couldn’t teach as they hoped.

    When we highlight success stories, it’s very encouraging for us as members of the human community to be aware of these opportunities emerging for all communities on the planet, one day, through innovation and greater awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ka for understanding the scope and intention of these stories; to light up the fires of possibility and hope. There is much good happening in the world and more if we put more focus on it. I’m inspired by this teacher, your friend and anyone who is working to make the world a better place. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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