Tuesday, March 17, 2015

To Inspire or Not

 On Sunday's I love to watch the CBS Sunday Morning Show with anchor Charles Osgood.  It's not like all the other news casts where it's all doom and gloom about our world that seams to be falling apart at the seems. I particularly love the different suns that they feature each week.  I don't always get a chance to watch it but lucky for me they post it on their webpage.
It was two Sunday's ago I watched a really interesting piece about the Monarch butterfly and how they are declining in population.  In this clip a man told about how he was inspired to reclaim his property after going to Mexico where Monarchs migrate to in the winter.  He planted native plant species to attract the Monarchs. The footage of the Monarchs were breathtaking.  It was then that I thought my kids should see this story and maybe it would inspire them to appreciate the natural wonders around them but never stop to admire. 
And I don't know about you but at this time of the year my kids fall into a slump.  They don't want to put a lot of effort into their work, the drama increases and they become self-centered.
So, I thought maybe showing them some of these types of clips each week might be good for them. When I showed the Monarchs they were awed, too and we had a good conversation about what might be affecting the populations.  Good, I thought!  Then I found another clip about a man who is over 70 years old and is the only care taker of the Yellowstone National Park during the winter.  There was some awesome pictures of the wildlife in during the harsh winters there.  We had another solid conversation about solitude and appreciation of our winters. Good, I thought! Then I started searching on You-Tube for some inspirational videos about caring for others.  Each day I played a new clip, today was the boy that received the award in  2012 Sports Illustrator Kid of the year.  If you have not seen that it is a tear jerker and very touching. 
My kids are dead silent when I play the short clips and they all participate afterwards in a heart felt conversation about what it should mean to them. When they come in from recess they are talking about how they are trying to help their peers out. 
There are so many real life human stories out there that can teach us (including myself) to hold our head up, push through life's hardships and have compassion for others.  Why not use those to demonstrate to kids what they can choose to do?
There is a saying "Shoot for the Moon, if you miss, you'll land among the stars".
I guess I'm just hoping that maybe along the way I might get a few kids to think about their actions and how it affects everyone around them. 


  1. I, myself, have been in a bit of a slump, Kris, but after reading your post, and watching the video clip you have linked, I am inspired!! Conner is truly amazing, and I'm so glad his story has helped your students see the importance of being kind to one another! I'm sure Lebron James helped get their attention :-)

  2. What a great idea! Such a great way to inspire inquiry and expose them to topics, issues, and people they might not otherwise come across. In an engaging way, too!

  3. You are giving them food for thought, hopefully they will digest it and think about what they can do to make the world a better place.

  4. What a great idea! Such a great way to inspire inquiry and expose them to topics, issues, and people they might not otherwise come across. In an engaging way, too!

  5. I love that you took your frustration and made it work for you by inspiring your students to spread some kindness. And now you have inspired us to do the same! Your last paragraph summed up teaching so well...we just hope to have a positive impact on them.