Change the World


Dear Teacher,

Last Friday, I gave you a (seemingly) impossible mission.  I asked you to change the world.  I have to say, I was overwhelmed by the response.  The idea really seemed to connect to people.  I know that it really connected to me.  I have been thinking a lot about the idea of what it takes to change the world and how I can do so as “just one teacher.”

For this reason, the weekly theme song (and theme for the week) is going to build on the post from Friday.  This week is going to be all about changing the world.  Are you going to ride along with me and help me spark some change?  Click play and then read on!

The world is a mess.  I think we all feel it.  Even the most optimistic among us have to admit that there is a lot wrong with the world at-large.  We know it is that way.  We know it, and our students know it.

Some of us, though, those optimistic ones I mentioned, don’t see the world as static.  It is dynamic.  It can change.  Pardon my nerdy-ness for a moment, but we at Earth’s surface are moving at over 1000 miles per hour as the planet rotates on its axis.  We are moving fast, this should remind us that the world does not stand still.  It is moving, it is changing, and the society world can move and change just as quickly.

So, the world can change.

If it can change, let’s change it.

Simple, right?

Maybe.

What would we do if we could change it?  Or what would we do if we could change our own little corner of it?  What would we want it to be like?  What changes would we like to see?

I think this would be debatable…thus politics and politicians.  There are so many differing opinions on what the world should be like.  Some religions are built around thoughts on what the world should “change” to be like.  This one of the hard parts of change.  Opinions and beliefs.

I think there is one area of agreement, for the most part, across the board.  We all wish the world was better.  We wish it were nicer.  We wish it were more encouraging.  It boils down to one thing…

Kindness.

We all wish the world, and everyone in it, were kinder.  Kindness is the key.  Kindness is the change that most people could come to a consensus upon.  Kindness is change that most of us can agree on.

There is something cool about this.  Kindness is the easiest change to bring.  Kindness is a change that spreads.  Kindness can be like a virus that goes from one person to the next.  The change that is kindness can start with one person.  Kindness is the kind of change that can start with you.

To start a revolution of kindness is simple.  Be kind.  I am not talking polite, well-mannered, or moral.  I mean kind.  Kindness that can only come from the heart.  It has to be genuine and true.  It has to not care about who it is aimed at.  Kindness is not “payback” for kindness shown.  Kindness is given freely and to everyone.  It is given especially to those who are not kind to you.

What kind of kindness changes the world?  How can you do it?

Show kindness to EVERYONE around you.  Do small things.  Say “hello” to everyone you see.  “Good morning.  How are you?” are two powerful phrases.  High-fives and smiles can change a person’s day, and they, in turn, will help change the day for others.  “Good job.”  “I like your shoes.”   “You are awesome.”  These are just words, but they are powerful words of kindness…doubly so when they are random and barely deserved.

Kindness is a feeling that is passed through action.  Kindness makes you want to be kind to others.  Kindness changes your perspective.  Kindness wants you to do better and be better.  Kindness is an agent of change, and we so often forget it.

So…you want to change the world?  Be kind.  Let kindness be the world that people think of when they think of you.  Let there be a drop of kindness in each of your footprints each and every day.

(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Your kindness will change people’s world.  They will be kind and change the world of others.  Those people will turn and do the same.  Before you know it, you (one person) have change the world!

So, how do you feel about this, Teacher?  I know that you do little acts of kindness every day.  You are a teacher, it comes with the job.  Can you be more intentional about it, though.  Can you be purposefully kind today, tomorrow, and from now on?

Today’s Change-the-World Challenge:  Give 50 high-fives.

Can you do that?  Let me add to it to make it a little harder…half, 25, of these have to be random and undeserved.  Oh, and make at least ten with an adult and not student.  Can you do this today?  I know that it sounds a little crazy, but I think you will see it causes a change in you as you try to do this, and I think you will see quite a reaction in others.  Want to give it a shot?

I hope you have a great day and great week.  You are so awesome!  You are changing the world!  You are an amazing teacher!  Keep on teaching and changing the world, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS… The “Kindness” poster/graphic is available as a part of a set of printable posters that is available to buy.  I know I keep talking about it, but I am so excited about these posters and how they can motivate students (intrinsically) to keep moving and pressing on!  The Motivational ABCs Poster/Word Wall are available in the Dear Teacher/Love Teacher TeachersPayTeachers Store…check it out, if you haven’t had the chance!  The image in this post is one of the printable posters in the set.  Oh, and the posters are on a deep discount sale this week!  You have $2 to motivate students, don’t you?  🙂

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5 comments on “Change the World

  1. Diana Penning says:

    I love your posts…thank you! And, to answer your question about how I feel about this kindness things, it’s one of the many things I want to invest in young people. Nothing warms my heart more than when students notice that I’m nice to EVERYONE. This IS a change we can make that can spark a revolution…students comment that they wish certain other teachers would come to my class and take friendly lessons, and I’ve seen even challenging students become kinder to each other in my classroom over time.

    Not saying any of this to brag, but to encourage the doubters that kindness DOES work!! Try it! And, btw, it changes your own outlook on the day, the student, the administration, the task…you get the picture.

  2. Kate Hurt says:

    I love your blog in general and your posts…but I have to take issue with you here. ‘Doubly so when they are random and barely deserved’? I disagree. High standards mean high standards for praise, period. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find ways to praise and more importantly ways to connect with students that ARE deserved.

    In general I think if you are sincere with your students they are sincere with you. They want sincere negative feedback and sincere praise more than we think they do, in my experience. They want somebody real assessing their work and being fair about it. They appreciate us when the praise pans out to reveal a future talent/opportunity and they curse us when the praise pans out to be hollow. Just sayin’ 😉

    • I see what you are saying. That is not what I meant. I completely agree with you. I meant that it does not seem deserved by others (and the student him or herself). I should have said “seemingly random and seemingly undeserved.” We know that there is purpose and reason behind the praise. I think the theme of the post is intentional kindness. We are being intentional with what we say and do to show kindness to students and others…even when it does not SEEM to be deserved. I like what you said about honesty whether it be positive or negative. Through connecting with students I have been able to have a voice that lets me give them an honest reflection of themselves and what they need to work on. They do appreciate the honesty and want to work harder for you for it.

      Thank you for the correction! I appreciate it. You are awesome and KIND. 🙂

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