Check out some touching stories from our PeaceMovers as they reflect on this past week:
"The students were enthralled by the 10 strategies. Their classroom is characterized by an energy of frustration and anger and they were absolutely intrigued by a discussion of how to respond instead of react when you feel upset."
"We had a really good conversation about diversity. One of the more interesting comments came from a girl who stated that if we were all the same no one would be teased. While I try to emphasize the strengths that come from differences, I felt that this was an interesting and legitimate point. I tried to express that one way we all are the same is that we have been teased at some point ( this was confirmed by a show of hands). Because of this we could empathize with those who might be teased and choose our words and actions carefully.
"When we were talking about who would say the instructions for a particular activity, one of the students suggested asking the younger kids who they wanted to explain it. This logistically wouldn't work but I thought it was interesting that he was into giving the kids agency. He said that they'd respect us more if we gave them the choice."
“There was one time when….I think it was amanda who said 'the wind takes away anyone who only lives with one parent'. A bunch of us got up and shared our stories. I also got up, since I live with my mom and my biological dad passed away when I was small, but we moved upstate and my uncle ended up raising us and I see him as my dad- 'papa'. The girls were really interested in my story and they all shared. Hannah said during her reflection that 'she felt sad that so many people don't live with their parents'. It was a great sharing time."
This past week, MTW PeaceMovers entered classrooms with ideas, activities, and guidance, but as always, it is up to the students what they take away from the session. Support and gratitude for one another stood out as beautiful themes in their reactions to the curriculum. Successful empathy building can be seen in the PeaceMover reflections:
Today's statement was "Tell me one thing you are thankful for". The students were calm and engaged and chomping at the bits to share their answer. Answers included "I'm thankful I have best friends who care about me," "I'm thankful I have a home," "I'm thankful for my family." I felt these were incredible answers for 1st/2nd graders and then, they asked if we could go around again! I couldn't resist...answers in the second round included "Teachers who try to help me" and "My good health." It was so amazing. -Elana Kanter
I'd have to say the applause for each other and sense of accomplishment at the end of the session. The Junior Peace Movers were smiling as they left.- Emma Shakarshy
During the Wind Blows activity, I learned that most of the students have a lot of stressor's in their life (like working and going to school) AND have big goals/dreams (like going to college and travelling). During the closing whip around, "what did you learn today", several students mentioned things they didn't know about their peers: like how many languages some speak, etc. Another student even mentioned that they learned not to take the good things in their life for granted, because someone else is always going through something more difficult. One student said they learned about resilience (several of the student's clearly had not heard, or understood, that word before today's session). Another student commented about how they learned people deal with stress differently. -Elana Kanter
As PeaceMover Facilitators reflect on their past week in classrooms, a common key ingredient can be found in Move This World students, teachers and school staff-- dedication. A high level of enthusiasm into the MTDubz classroom is the key ingredient to maximize success in empathy education. See for yourself the excerpts below!
paired with Jaylene for the mirror exercise and I've never seen a student so
focused and committed to an exercise. She was really incredible and it showed
that some of them really do want to be there and are getting something out of
the program." -Emma
the Wind Blows activity, I learned that most of the students have a lot of
stressers in their life (like working and going to school) AND have big
goals/dreams (like going to college and travelling). During the closing whip
around, "what did you learn today", several students mentioned things
they didn't know about their peers: like how many languages some speak, etc.
Another student even mentioned that they learned not to take the good things in
their life for granted, cause someone else is always going through something more
difficult. One student said they learned about resilience (several of the
student's clearly had not heard, or understood, that word before today's
session). Another student commented about how they learned people deal with
stress differently (some eat and some listen to music)." -Elana
shared with the group that he manages his anger in school by closing his eyes,
imagining his "happy place" (his grandmother's house) and saying his
name to himself 5 times. All of the students tried this technique, with very
discussion about difference and our attempts to unpack all of the complicated
feelings and experience associated with feeling or being different, two female
students who I had not yet heard from in previous sessions shared their different experiences, having moved to the US from Bangladesh and Pakistan,
respectively. They seemed excited and proud to share their perspectives,
especially when their classmates listened with rapt attention to each of their
stories and responded enthusiastically." -Cameron