This time of year teachers often ponder gifts for their students. When I was a classroom teacher, I definitely bought each student a book and sometimes a holiday themed pencil and eraser too. I was more than happy to do so and hoped I was contributing to their home libraries. But now that I am out of the classroom and can have a wider view of education, I see that the generosity we show and model for our students every day might be a greater gift. There are so many ways we can be generous that don’t take a lot of time, money, or wrapping paper. Greet each student with a smile and using their name each morning. Praise specifically and descriptively. Check in with students who seem down or maybe just a little off. Be mindful with how you speak about frustrations and annoyances in front of your kids. Share your own happiness and joy with your students and let them join in. Offer rewards of special time with you. Give your students time to make greetings and write notes for classified staff and volunteers they see and interact with daily. Be generous with your spirit and your students will learn how to be generous with theirs.
Written by Sara Holm