Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What makes you happy?

K-1 teacher Liliana works with the children to create a classroom grounded in peace and friendship.  To see if the children have absorbed the lessons, she asked the kids these questions: "What do you like about school?"  and "What makes you happy?"  Here are some of their responses (categorized after the conversation by Liliana)

Peace and Beauty
  • Peace is a wonderful thing at school.  We love people.
  • In this classroom there is lots of peace and we make peace a lot.
  • We help each other in a kind way.  We get a lot of free choice.
  • We meditate.  We go into our silence.
  • You can make beautiful pictures.
Play and Friendships
  • You can make new friends and play.  We can all play together.
  • We play dress-up.
  • It's a wonderful class with all these friends.
  • Playing games at recess and I help my friends.
  • You have really good friends and you help other people.
  • We have two recesses.  We can build at recess.  We can build in the classroom and you can mix toys and then when we clean up we put them back where they belong.  If you didn't mix the toys you could not make these structures.
She noted that everyone mentioned the block center as a fun place and recess was also very popular.  They also mentioned all the projects and themes they have worked on: homes and habitats, fall, butterflies, moths, frogs and cooking.

I'm so happy that the culture of our classrooms and school community is infused with these ideas.  Our graduates carry it forth in their personal lives and to work in the peace corps, as doctors, educators, and as entrepreneurs for social causes.  The message of peace and friendship clearly resonates  - and who knows, another Nelson Mandela could be in the making.

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