Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Shoveling Squad of Seventh Graders

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!



I've had the last six days off for snow days. I live in the bullseye of the blizzard that hit the east coast. The best thing that happened this week was an email I received from a former student. The subject of this email from this seventh grader was Random Acts of Kindness. Here's what it said:

"
Hi Ms.Haseltine!! Long time no see! How are you? I wanted to let you know that today my mom's friend is coming home from California to an un-shoveled driveway. I have a huge group of friends and we call our self, "The Squad" and it seems to be falling apart.  :( I saw one of your posters from random acts of kindness in the 6th grade locker room and I thought of an idea! What if our "Squad" went to go shovel her driveway as a way to do a project together and hopefully help us stay as a group of friends!"

I don't need to explain how amazing this felt. This student has always been kind and thoughtful. I love that she decided to help someone else and her group of friends at the same time. My response encouraged this experience and asked for pictures!
  


 We exchanged a couple more emails and she ended by saying, "I loved this project and it did help bring our group closer together, although a girl in our group has been feeling down so this project inspired me to make her a 'Box of Sunshine:)' Thank you so much! It means a lot that you took time to listen.  :)"


She wanted someone to hear this idea. She asked for encouragement and look where she went. A woman who was away during this storm arrived home to a shoveled driveway, sidewalk and stairs, thanks to this group of seventh graders. As someone who lives alone, I know what this means. The student told me, "It went great! we ended up shoveling more then just her driveway:) she came home super happy and had told us we had made her year! Doing this felt so good and made me want to do more things like this." 

It's powerful. KINDNESS is powerful! Show kindness today. Look into someone's eyes as you say hello. Smile. Hold the door open. Stop and let someone else go first. Shovel someone out. Make a box of sunshine. You could be the one to change someone's day. Just look at what this group of middle school students accomplished!

13 comments:

  1. Such a heartwarming story, Michelle! That is so awesome. We need MORE of this in the world!!

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  2. Wow. Six snow days?! Will you have to go extra days in the summer?

    It's always so heartwarming to hear from former students, isn't it? What a great email to get on your unexpected time away from school.

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  3. What a gift these students gave to that lady expecting to return home to piles of snow! And what a gift you gave to these (former) students with your ongoing encouragement to show kindness. Great story!

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  4. LOVE!
    I love that your former student knew how to get ahold of you and share this with her.

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  5. This is the reason I taught 7 grade for so many years. Such a great age. And SIX snow days in a row??? Wow. Even this Iowa girl can't imagine that much snow.

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  6. What a beautiful story of kindness, and that seed started is from you, Michelle. Those middle schoolers are my love, do capable of doing great things. You must have a warm feeling all over!

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  7. There is so much to love about this post, but the best thing is your ongoing influence on the kids you teach. You touch their lives forever!

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  8. Wow! What you inspired in your former student and "the squad." I suspect the effect of their act of kindness will go beyond this moment.

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  9. What a wonderful way for friends to bond. :) I'm so glad that she shared that story with you. It's wonderful to know that you are making a difference in lives. It just shows that our actions can reach many others.

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  10. Beautiful post ... kindness begets kindness.

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  11. What a wonderful story of kindness. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Kids will surprise you, if you let them. What a great act of kindness! This is the kind of story that needs to be on the news.

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  13. Michelle, how terrific is it that these students got involved in random acts of kindness based on your thoughts and wishes. Kindness spreads joy. Thanks for making me smile tonight.

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