I did a scary thing last night. I watched the news. Admittedly it had been a while since I actually sat and watched the news, as I usually choose to read about current events instead, but I was really in for it. Our world is a scary, scary place.
After I had gotten over the initial shock of the craziness I was thinking about what could be done. I started local by looking into groups that I can volunteer with, and was able to find two that I plan to start with next month when they do their new volunteer orientation. I then started to think about what could be done now, and was doubly inspired by a quote from U.S. Representative John Lewis, a civil rights legend, earlier this week.
I really got to thinking about what a privilege it is to be a teacher and resource creator. I thought a ton of all the things that we get to, get in the way of. We can get in the way of prejudice, bullying, racism, general unkindness, and anything else that we see fit. We get the privilege of working with our future leaders every day. It is a great responsibility, and a great privilege.
I was thrilled to get together with other teacher authors to provide forever FREE resources that would serve to build up community and instill character in our students all in an effort of fostering classroom community. If you search the hashtags #kindnessnation or #weholdthesetruths on TeachersPayTeachers you can find free resources on encouraging classroom community, civics, government, and a variety of other topics.
The resource that I have contributed is this Character Trait Jigsaw that would be great for use as a classroom community builder or to go with a literature study of characters.
If you are working on empathy with your students this Empathy Interactive Notebook would be a great place to start. Empathy is a crazy difficult trait to teach, so the more resources you have in your tool belt the better in my opinion.Classroom Affirmation Posters are also a wonderful way to foster community in the classroom by creating an environment in which everyone is appreciated and accepted. They come in a variety of options, so there is sure to be one for everyone.
I am loving this resource based on the book, Terrible Things by Eve Bunting that talks about being an upstander instead of a bystander in social situations. This mentor text resource is sure to be a hit!
If you are looking for a more socially away resource the I would highly recommend this resource on being a positive ally. It is a powerful way of discussing social action with your students, and bonus, is completely editable so that you can change the wording to fit the needs of your classroom.
There are seriously tons of resources participating, so there is sure to be one that will fit the needs of you and your students. Please take a moment, or an hour, and search the hashtags #kindnessnation and #weholdthesetruths for some amazing resources.
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