Monday, November 23, 2009

Kind words spread for miles...

It was any old day in the art room. In fact, with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up the kids were working on their turkey drawings (which were and are so super adorable). I wasn't having the best far as how I felt, but what's new? While they were working so diligently at their seats, I decided to sit down for just a minute.... to breathe.

As I sat at my desk, one 1st grader would trickle up at a time, asking me my opinion about their coloring and drawing, and seeing what to do next.

There are many times I give them X,Y and Z to do...(unless of course, it really is complete.)

"Go back and fix up your grass a little...I can see the white paper showing through. Make it disappear."

"Why don't you add a little purple to that sky? It would be nice to blend and make it more realistic, don't you think?"

"Ohhh, how about we go back and neaten up the coloring a bit, since we have time."

But this day...I just didn't have the energy to give them more tasks. I just figured, what the heck. They came up to me one by one as they normally do, wherever I am in the room (come on...we all know kids are needy), and this time I just happened to be at my desk.

I started to throw out some really nice compliments about their work...

I honestly didn't think much of it.

"Wow-I absolutely LOVE this."

"You did amazing. Your coloring looks so nice!"

"I am super impressed. It's just perfect."

And then I started to pick up on the chatter around the classroom....

"What did she say to YOU?"

"Well, she said mine was just amazing and that she loved it!"

"Well, she told me that my coloring was beautiful and that I blended well."

"She said she's so proud of my work, and that I did a neat job."

...and then I saw it.

Smiles, smiles, smiles galore.

They were beaming. Seriously. With smiles from ear to ear.

At that moment I felt like I'd been hit with a ton of bricks....and I thought, wow...these little compliments I give them go a REALLY long way. In fact...they'll remember them...they'll go home and tell their parents about them...they'll hopefully remember the kind words when they're feeling bad or down in another area. They were encouraged.

I'm going to make a conscious effort to spread the kindness after that little bop on the head this week. I really appreciate those little reminders that tend to have such a BIG impact.


  1. Aww! The simplest things mean SO much to kids!! =)

  2. What a beautiful story, Katie. Loved this!!!!!! And seriously, it's teachers like you that they're going to remember for years to come!! They'll look back on that day and remember exactly what you said and how it made them feel :)

  3. What a beautiful story, Katie. Loved this!!!!!! And seriously, it's teachers like you that they're going to remember for years to come!! They'll look back on that day and remember exactly what you said and how it made them feel :)

  4. awwww that is so precious! kind words DO go a long way. you're such a great teacher kate! :)

  5. I had a similar experience yesterday. One of my yearbook kids was all, "Mrs. C, come look at my awesome page!" which I normally put off because, I've got to put out the veritable fires in the classroom first.

    But I was so wiped yesterday,I just wandered around and looked and smiled and told them how good they were doing.

    And sweet heavens, it worked. They all were on Cloud 9.

  6. Aww, I bet those kids just heart you!!


  7. I had a similar experience just this morning. I was getting really frustrated with one of my students...then I stepped back and realized that he really could NOT do what I was asking him to do. I started heaping on the praise and the whole vibe in the room changed. Love those moments.

  8. aww that is just so cute! It's amazing how a kind word or compliment can go SO far for little children, I think it's something that all little beings crave (many bigger beings as well ;))

  9. Awesome story! I love watching their little faces beam when they know they've done a good job :)

  10. So lovely! I think kindness makes us all feel great and hopefully experiencing it as little ones lead to them being kind adults!

  11. I love giving compliments to kids! They take it so well! :) Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  12. That is a sweet little story - Good for you love :)

  13. How cute! Kind words go a long way :) Your students are lucky to have such a fabulous teacher! :)

  14. Aww! What a great story! This made me make the girly "aww" sigh out loud! :) Thanks for posting! :)

  15. That is awesome. You gotta love those little reminders. Sometimes I would go home at the end of the day and wonder if I did anything worth while with the kids that day.

    You made their day!

  16. such a cute story! I love all of your posts about your students they always make me smile! :)

  17. what a beautiful story!! so sweet. I'm glad you shared!! :)

  18. Good for you!!!

    I volunteer to teach Junior Achievement to K-5th graders...One of my K classes had a sticker project to do. Each one of them came up to me to show me their work, to which I made a big deal about how great they were. One little girl actually whispered to me that their teacher never says anything nice to them. :( I felt so bad for them. They have to learn to do things correctly, which I understand, but they also need encouragement/compliments to keep them going. Makes me sad for when my kids go to school...I hope they don't have a teacher like that. ...and one like YOU who makes them beam! ;)

  19. Katie,
    I still remember the teachers that made me feel special. I loved my second grade teacher. Her name was Miss Whitman and I loved her so much. She left a huge impression on me, that 40 plus years later I stil remember her name! You'll be one of those teachers that encourage your students so much that they will never forget you!