As part of adding "heart" to class, we share stories, bring in special guests like Molly and John (see previous posts) and listen to music with caring lyrics and messages. Songs like "Happy" might be suggested by students. We also listen to deeper songs like the one below, which I brought in to help students think of others. I think it connects with all of us.
A very good friend of mine, named John, visited class on Tuesday. I invited John to visit class because he has a special story of survival and "heart." He was in a car crash when he was twenty-one that left him in a coma for six months, with brain damage and little chance of survival. He is one of the most special people I know, and I wanted my students to meet him, hear his story, see how he lives his life, and empathize with someone who might seem "different." John talked about his journey, and the hard work it took to learn again how to talk and walk. His journey is a miracle and the kids got to see just how different his life is, but also saw John's special way of living, even to the point of having a unique way of tying his shoelace.
In fourth grade this week, we've been talking about having "heart" to persevere, put in great effort, and work through obstacles to be the best you can be. What better example than ULS's own, and current University of Notre Dame student-athlete, Molly Seidel to come and join our discussion. Molly is an NCAA 10K and XC champion. She talked to the kids about life, obstacles, and the ups and downs of working hard to reach goals. The kids were engaged, and asked great questions. We even gave her a specially designed dodecahedron box! Thanks much to Molly for joining us!! And good luck this semester and in the next season.
© 2015 Peter J. Wilson
Peter Wilson teaches fourth grade at University Lake School, in Hartland, WI.