Friday, October 19, 2012

Bucket Filling

Back in January 2011, I wrote a blog entry about a couple of books called "How Full is Your Bucket?" and "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" that I was using with the kids to try to teach them to be nice to each other. I was thrilled yesterday to find out that Jonas's school has become a "Bucket Filling School"!

Bucket filling is all about building other people up - helping them, being nice to them - and not dipping into other people's buckets to fill your own. The book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.

Personally, it's one of my favourite books for kids and Jonas's teacher apparently agrees. She started a bucket filling program in her class last year and has amped it up this year. Every day, each student gets up in front of the class and tells about one nice thing they did for someone else and one nice thing someone did for them. They then add a cardboard drop of water to their classmates plastic buckets, which are kept on display in the classroom. 

Jonas's new principal liked the idea so much that the entire school now takes time every day to do the same thing. What a great idea, especially in this day and age, with bullying front and centre in the headlines.

We found out about this initiative last night when Jonas's teacher called us to talk about his field trip-essay issue yesterday morning. She made a special point of letting us know how proud she was of Jonas for volunteering to answer a question at the Science Centre yesterday. He stood up in front of at least 60 people and explained about how to use bleach to do laundry. (Something I had no idea he knew about, but fully intend to exploit now that I do.) She said it took him a while to say it, but he didn't get frustrated and explained himself very well. He was beaming when he got off the phone with her, and so were we.

Have you filled a bucket today?


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