Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RAK: “Random Acts of Kindness” at Greenville Junior High

Submitted by: Chris Mortensen, Principal, Greenville Junior High School

It is often heard that each generation of students has flaws that make them a poor representation for what our future has in store, as a community, as a state and as a country. I am often asked how I can work in education and routinely told by others that they could not work in the education system and wonder why teachers would choose to do this each day. My reply is that our students are really very good and 98% of our students have little to no discipline concerns at all. Our offenders, our real offenders, account for about 7-8 students total out of over 400 students. All of the other students in the building that we work with daily are excellent students with unique, individualized goals that they can certainly achieve if they put their mind to it. Most of the students in this group would help others and do this daily for their fellow classmates, community members and family without thinking anything of it. For all of those students and the thousands of others just like them, is the reason that each teacher chooses to do this career daily.

Recently, the Junior High PTA discussed the students and staff taking on a project to demonstrate kindness with and toward their fellow classmates. The PTA requested that the Junior High participate in a week long project with our students to help them see the difference that acts of kindness can have on others and their own self-image. After discussions with staff, PTA officers and some conversation with students it was decided to implement a “Random Acts of Kindness” week or what came to be referred to as RAK week. The proposal was shared with the PTA and decided that costs should be researched and reported back along with a basic plan that staff would use with the students for each of the core content areas within the building. After several meetings with the Teacher Based Teams (TBT teams) for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies, they had developed some positive options for the promotion of RAC week at the Junior High. The PTA will fund a small beatification project at the Junior High during that week. We would like to thank the PTA for their guidance and support for this project with our students.

This week, all of our students at the Junior High will be participating by content area in a project associated with demonstrations of kindness to either their fellow classmates, community members or just being kind to the ecosystem itself. The project was selected by the teams department and then details selected about how to allow for the work to be completed, connected to the student learning standards, and help shape students understanding of what being kind means, and its impact on others touched by the kindness. Here is a little bit of what is being done with our students throughout the building and in the community.

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