First Day of School Kindness #BeKind21

Day 4 – Setting Up a Classroom Peace Area

On Tuesday, I set up a peace area for my students. A classroom peace area is a space set aside to aide students who are experiencing uncomfortable emotions, including anxiety, fear, and sadness, and it is also a space for a student to simply relax and gather oneself for a moment.

In my classroom peace area, a student (or a teacher) can sit and rub on some lotion, play with a little stuffed animal, explore a basket full of peace rocks, look at a model of the heart, and look at soothing images.

It is just a little corner of respite for anyone who might need it. I actually love sitting in it myself, and students can even just bring something they need from this area to their desk.

Day 5 – Cooking for My Family

On Wednesday night, I made bucatini and homemade tomato sauce for my family. I love the tomato sauce recipe from Diane Seed’s Top 100 Pasta Sauces. I used to make tomato sauces that were too spicy for my kids, but this recipe is one that everyone loves. It feels good to nourish my family before the first day of school.

Day 6 – The First Day of School with a New Ritual

I always wake up early on the first day of school. This morning, I was up at 5 am. I resisted my phone and computer for some relaxation. I filled the tub with hot water and bath salts, made myself this tea, and read a bit of Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom –

Many people mix up happiness with excitement, but excitement is not exactly happiness. When you’re excited, there’s not enough peace in you, and the happiness isn’t real.

After the bath, as my family awoke and we started bustling around, I felt a little more reserved than usual – a good thing for me. This quotation resonated with me throughout the day and helped me to cultivate the presence I wanted to have for my beginning ESL students and for modeling my best self for my student teacher. You can see in the latter pictures that my students and my student teacher are working together collaboratively, purposefully, and deliberatively on a writing task.

Guerilla Art No. 2 – Mental Health Coupon Poster

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I spent some time researching and making this mental health coupon poster this morning, and I will print them, cut along the dotted lines, and (the most fun part!) post them around the neighborhood. If you want to try this, here is a pdf version you can print yourself. Or you can make your own – there are lots of templates online.

This feels like a community service project – if I saw this poster, I would definitely want a coupon from it. While I was creating this, I was thinking about my own well-being and about how I can better care for myself, especially once the school year begins. I think a poster like this might help someone to feel a little bit better or even just get them thinking about their own self within a crowded life.

This project was an assignment (really just a super fun idea though) from The Guerrilla Art Kit: Everything You Need to Put Your Message Out into the World by Keri Smith.

References

Developing a Self-Care Plan (ReachOut.com)

45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul (TinyBuddha.com)\

10 Self-Care Moves You Can Do at Your Desk