Kindness and Compassion

Today a presenter from Rachel's Challenge came to visit our school. Rachel was the first student killed outside the school building at Columbine High School in 1999. Her challenge was explained to us today.
What I loved about the lessons learned today is that it is about moving toward the light, not focusing on the darkness. She felt that if all students and staff and community members of a school would move toward the light and focus on kindness and compassion we may start a chain reaction.

It made sense to me. Before I had even thought about Rachel's Challenge I had a sign up at the front of my room that says "Be Kind". It is a simple rule that carries a big message. Every day my responsibility is to demonstrate kindness and compassion. Some days it is hard. Some days I go overboard and show too much compassion. Other days kindness erupts from every corner of the classroom. The chain reaction is recognizing those acts of kindness. I try to model that, but I want my students to recognize it in others also. That will be part of our challenge.

Rachel admired and respected Martin Luther King Jr. One quote that was written in one of her journals and shared today was this: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

These are words I will remember and repeat over and over.
Kindness, compassion, light, love.

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