I’ll admit it – I was having a grouchy kind of morning. You know, the kind where you haven’t slept properly, where there was no milk for your tea, rain was threatening – nothing Earth shattering – just a little black cloud over my head.
I had a Keeping Them Safe – Child Protection lesson planned. Part of the lesson involved writing down nice things about your classmates.
I’d come across the perfect little activity on Seesaw. It’s called Classmate Compliments. Simple really – children open up Seesaw, take a selfie (with a fair amount of background room), then leave their computers open, and move around the room, writing down something nice on ten different computers.
I gave some pretty clear instructions…
- You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but you do have to be friendly with everyone – kind words only.
- Challenge yourself – don’t write on your best friend’s picture – you tell them how awesome they are all the time – pick people outside of your close friends.
- Mix it up – boys, girls, different year level to you.
- Don’t just write about looks – you’ve been in a Village with these people for at least six months – go deeper.
There was a buzz and excitement in the room that is usually reserved for Minecraft lessons. My slightly-sarcastic, little-bit-jaded, too-cool-for-school Year 4s and 5s forgot to pretend to be blasé, and got right into it. I overheard some of the kids saying, “This is fun! I like this!” At the end of the session, they all excitedly went back to their computers. They mouthed the words to themselves at first, then the tentative smiles turned into grins, and the grins into excited shouts. “People think I’m smart?” “You really are funny!” “Someone said I’m inclusive, and that I’m a good friend!” My little black cloud began to lighten – and I found myself smiling.
“Who’s feeling a little bit special right now?” I asked. Every hand went up. They were all grinning from ear to ear.
In demonstrating, I had taken a selfie, and left my computer open too. You’ll have to excuse the photo – remember, I hadn’t slept well, had almost no make-up on, and the overcast morning came with a healthy dose of bad-hair-day wind. But, the results, well, they speak for themselves!
My little black cloud evaporated instantly, and I had to read the words through happy tears. I looked up to find everyone smiling at me. “You have the most words Sarah!” “Yeah, everyone was lining up to write on your photo.”
I looked at my kids and smiled, “I really do love you guys.”
PS – My son is one of my students – hence the ‘Great Mum’ comment!
PPS – I’m pretty good at flossing – the kids taught me on school camp!