In honor of Dr. King, just take a minute to thank him and the other civil rights pioneers for bringing down the racial barriers and reminding us that the world needs to hold hands, stick together, and be friends just like in kindergarten!
Thinking about peace and love reminded me of a morning mantra a teacher in Ohio shared with me years ago. What a great way to start each day this coming week!
Teacher: Boys and girls, what is my job today?
Children: Your job is to teach us and to love us.
Teacher: Boys and girls, what is your job today.
Children: Our job is to learn and to love each other.
*If a child is behaving inappropriately you can ask them, “What is your job today? Show me the right thing to do!”
Here’s another tip that might encourage a little peace in your classroom.
Friendship Tools (Liz Watras)
Teach children sign language for these words so they can use them to work through conflicts.
Ask (Palms together bring to your chest as if praying.)
Help (Make a fist with one hand and place it on the open palm of the other hand. Bring both up in the air at the same time.)
Stop (One palm open. Pretend to chop it with the other palm.)
Trade (Hold one hand in front of the other. Switch places and then switch places again.)
Wait (Hold hands up and off to the side and wiggle the fingers.)
Yes (Make an “s” with your fist and raise and lower it like your head.)
No (Middle and index finger straight and close toward the thumb.)
Share (Open palm and tap thumb on open palm of the other hand.)
Include (Pretend to grab something in the air and put it in the other hand.)
Please (One palm open on chest and make a circular motion.)
Thank you (Touch fingertips on chin and extend out.)
Excuse me (One palm up and brush fingtips of other hand across.)
Hint! I’d suggest introducing one word each day and reinforcing it many times at “teachable moments” during the day.
* aslpro.com, handspeak.com, and lifeprint.com are useful sites for learning these signs.