Be kind and be brave. These have been my parting words to my students each period of each day for 3 1/2 weeks. I want these words to have power, to be words that echo in the hearts and minds of my students as they face all the big and small decisions that fill their days. I want these words to become the actions that populate their lives. Saying the words matters, but it isn’t enough.
The question of “what next” has been hovering at the edges of my mind for weeks now. Today, my students and I took a first step in our journey. I had a few extra minutes in class today (which never happens), so I decided to use them in a new way. I asked my students to each take a post it note and to write down one brave thing that they had done or that they had seen one of their 6th grade cohort do in the last week. They then put their post-it notes anonymously on the “One Brave Thing” table.
This is what they created.
It is only a beginning, but it is a beginning filled with being brave enough to reach out to someone else who needs a friend, being brave enough to stand up for someone else, being brave enough to ask questions when they don’t know something, being brave enough to ask for help, being brave enough to persevere. It is a beginning that fills me with hope.