Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

The gorgeous bunch of kids that I teach this year are dynamic.
They're loud, they're fiesty, they're individual -
They're opinionated, they're bossy, they're awesome...
and they're so, so generous.

As a school we have recently started to support World Vision's Smiles programme.
This initiative is one where your monetary donations are equated to a tangible 'gift' for a community in need.

In a single week my class alone has raised a huge amount with no sign of stopping.
So much so that we filled the donation box and had to 'bank' the cash raised so far with the office.
Large cash donations sourced primarily from their own moula.
I told one particularly selfless student that she could donate half of her wad of notes and that would still be extremely generous.
She responded saying "that's okay, I don't really need anything else".

This bunch, they're goal orientated so the notion of being able to see where our money is actually going to be utilised is an excellent incentive.
We have a World Vision chart in our room outlining the various donations and their life-changing impact in a community.
For example, $10 in donations 'gifts' a chicken and chicken feed or $125 trains a teacher.
My kids are pulling out all stops and aiming to buy 'a stable full of animals' ($1200!!!)

Our school is now also launching our annual shoebox appeal - Operation Christmas Child, supporting Samaritan's Purse. This programme provides gift filled shoe boxes to children in desperate and disadvantaged situations around the world.

The kids are getting excited about taking home these special boxes and filling them with small, appropriate 'gifts' for children who wouldn't otherwise receive presents or luxuries in their lives.

I'm also excited to share the fun with Magoo this year - while hopefully raising some awareness in his beautiful, egotistical little head that we are beyond blessed in our family, home and country.

Meanwhile, my class are also busy personalising and perfecting hand made games and treasures to gift to their younger year one buddies in our primary school.

If I request a volunteer or ten for tasks from tying my shoelaces to unjamming printers to manning the sports shed, there's always an immediate and impressive response. These guys don't hesitate to help each other out or encourage one another.

My students have formed groups completely off their own bat to clear rubbish out of our nature zone in their own lunchtimes, to organise and hold dodgeball competitions for other students at lunch and to care for another class' budgies before and after school.

We're not angels or saints. No halos here, that's for sure.
But these kids, like lots of others, have hearts to match their huge personalities..

(Assume soapbox here)

Kids 'these days' - they're getting a bad rap.
We can give our kids a hard time and harp on about how society has fallen in this day and age. We can be dismayed at the decline in common decency or manners and be disgusted at the rise in inappropriate and downright dangerous behaviour.
(Yep - my hand's up. Guilty as charged).

But that's not the whole story or the full picture.
Most kids are just kids. Great kids even.
Kids are intrinsically 'good' people. They want to love and be loved.
They crave direction, boundaries, guidance, care - they may not know it, but they do!

Nuff said.
I heart kids. Cause kids heart others.

(Alight from soapbox here.)

Shar :-)


Mama of 2 boys said...

Bravo Shar! A brilliant post, soapbox or not... and I think NOT, personally. I also think a genuinely wonderful teacher goes a long way in shaping the next generation and I have no doubt you are one of those teachers.
I have often thought that children only reflect the behaviours they're shown or treated with, this has become even more apparent since witnessing the children in the preschool scenario. Angus went to a preschool, prior to his current one, where the kids were lovely, but seemed to run a little riot. Hardly any boundaries, overcrowded and disorganised. In the 3 short months he has been at this new preschool, I cannot get over the changes in him. The teachers are fabulous and the children thriving as a result. Sounds like you've got a bunch of gems there and they're lucky to have you too :o) xo

Anonymous said...

Great post!! I had a lump in my throat reading it. I agree whole heartedly! What lucky students to have such an amazing teacher who 'gets' kids.

Tamsyn said...

Great post Shar. They sound like an amazing bunch of children, they are so lucky to have a teacher that sees who great they are and nurtures their potential.

Anonymous said...

Oh you make me miss all those gorgeous kids and their mums... Thank goodness Holly also has great kids at her new school... But not quite the same caring vibe :-( Lisa x

Peggy said...

Oh that is just adorable! My son is a generous little fellow too, he recently wanted to contribute ALL his monthly pocket money to a sponsorship for Cate Bolt's orphanage in Bali. Bless. I wonder if I was genuinely generous as a kid.

Nice post Shar, what a nice reminder. xo

Bubby Makes Three said...

That is so refreshing to hear! It is so nice to hear that we are still breeding little people with VALUES. I hope my kids are the same... I need a kick up the bum to demonstrate those values to them!