The trauma-informed, Back2Back-run school in India continues to thrive. Each month, the students are learning a new value to carry with them throughout their lives, regardless of job or vocation. Since beginning these monthly lessons, students have learned more about responsibility, respect, and honesty; the lessons allow them to fully understand what the value means and how it can be implemented in the world, toward others. This month, they are learning about kindness. Teachers are using Beth Guckenberger’s new children’s book The Heart Who Wanted to Be Whole to illustrate how our words and actions affect others’ hearts, and how kindness can help mend broken pieces.
These lessons are for students from Kindergarten to ninth grade. A ninth grader who lacked conversational English in the beginning has kept to himself and is especially quiet in class, but was recently asked to read aloud during the lesson. His teacher called on him to read, assuring she would help if he had any trouble. It was quiet for a moment, and then his classmates spoke up.
You can do this! You’ve got this! We believe in you! Words of encouragement rang through the air, and ultimately gave the young man courage to read in front of his peers.
“He did so well,” shared his teacher. “His friends were surprised and proud, listening to him read; he impressed all of us when he read more than one page! It was a huge win.”
The power of these unique lessons is clear – students are learning how to contribute values to the world and people around them, pouring positivity into others’ belief systems. The value lessons may seem simple, but the class clearly demonstrated they’re taking them to heart as they cheered on a classmate, celebrating his accomplishments, and that is definitely a victory.