Secondary Smorgasbord ~ Incredible Kids!

My story of Incredible Kids had a very opposite beginning.  

I was teaching in an affluent private school and had a classroom of 6th graders that were rather self-centered.  Everything was about being better than the other one and getting all the attention.

I was so upset that kids this young could be so self-absorbed.  I knew I needed a plan to work in their hearts, so it wasn't long before I came up with the idea of paying it forward.  

I took all my students to a local assisted living and paired them up with a "grandfriend" for Veterans' Day.  They went with questions to ask and a small gift to give.  I didn't really give them a rationale, I just told them we were going on a service learning trip because I wanted to experience to happen and then come back to that in the end.  I wasn't sure how it would go, but it was worth a try.  

Now here's the incredible part:  When we got back on the bus, the students were all buzzing about their new "grandfriends" and instead of trying to one-up each other, they were genuinely affected by how gentle and kind their "grandfriends" were as well as how knowledgeable they were and the fact that they seemed lonely.  They were beginning to think of someone else!  Then one of the kids said "When can we come back?" and everyone else said "Yeah, when?" and I think I just about cried.  

What we did was host a BINGO lunch for them at our school in the dining hall and invited them to campus every chance we could to be judges for our speech contest or talent show or whatever we could.  It soon became a right of passage for my sixth grade classes to "take care" of the "grandfriends" to the point my class one year actually held a 100th birthday party for one of the residents. 

Those were some of the best experiences I have had in my 21 years of teaching.  I absolutely wouldn't trade them for the world.

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1 comment

  1. What an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing!


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