Friday, February 21, 2014


The lovely Michelle over at Writer in Transit is hosting this very cool blog hop. In Michelle's words...

What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.
So in the spirit of ubuntu, I invite you to join me in celebrating my 3rd blogoversary!
Date – 18th to 21st February. I've allowed 4 days to make it easier for you guys, since some people only post once a week… save the date that coincides with your blogging schedule!

I'm lucky to be a teacher. I'm so often surrounded by joy and hope and the future. Kids are powerful and creative. At our school we obviously focus on the academics but we also focus on helping our students become kind and caring citizens. This has created some of the most amazing acts I've been lucky to witness over the last few years.
  • One student wrote out Anti-Bullying trading cards (complete with a logo and tips) and stood in the main hallway handing them out to everyone who passed by. When she ran out, she made more - eventually hand making over 300 cards!
  • Another student had noticed some sad peers so she created a Smile Box which she left outside the office. She left a card on the top asking people to "Take a Smile and Pass it On". Inside the box were small pieces of paper with hand drawn smiley faces. The box was soon empty except for a few Thank You notes left inside.
  • Over 2/3 of our students use our breakfast program which runs on volunteers. Parents, grandparents and students give generously of their time each and every day to prepare the food and clean up afterward.
  • During our Random Acts of Kindness week I caught dozens of kids giggling as they scooted away after performing a RAoK so they wouldn't get 'caught' and the act would remain anonymous.
  • Our older students do so much in the school to help out the community. Teens often have a bad rep but from where I'm sitting, they're super role models and citizens!
  • Two students worked together to create a craft they could sell to raise money for a student with cancer and raised almost $500...
My students are always my inspiration for trying to be a better person each and every day!They are awesome!!

Thanks Michelle for celebrating your blogiversary in such a thoughtful fashion! Be sure to click on her link for access to other entries in the fest!

What RAoK have you witnessed lately?


  1. As a retired teacher, I have to agree with you. I taught teenagers even though they do dumb things like all kids, they were mostly super generous and giving. I love teenagers.

  2. I love the idea of Ubuntu! And how wonderful that you had a Random Acts of Kindness week. Such a great way to help the kids realize how good it feels to do something kind for somebody.

  3. Love the idea of Ubuntu. And your kids sound fantastic. I always wish I'd gone into teaching. Kids are so inspiring.

  4. Thanks for sharing these stories of kindness! They made me smile this morning. Ubuntu is a wonderful word.

  5. Great stories, Jemi, thanks for sharing. Kids are great, aren't they?

  6. Susan - me too! They get such a bad rep for the actions of a select few

    Beth - I love RAoK and the kids do learn a lot from it!

    Natalie - I think you'd have loved teaching! It's a great way to fill your day with joy :)

    Elizabeth - it is! Glad to help your Friday!

    Jeff - they are! :)

  7. That's wonderful those kids took the initiative and did those things on their own. All it takes is a little act of kindness.

  8. You have some amazing students there. Those kids have a good attitude and will go far in life.

  9. Fabulous examples, Jemi. As teachers we get to see the whole gamut, but for me at least, it always seems like the good outweigh the bad.

  10. This is wonderful. There are so many great kids in the world but I fear they often go unnoticed and unappreciated.

  11. Alex - it's amazing how quickly kindness can spread itself around!

    Diane - they really will! They're great kids :)

    Ava - I totally agree! And it's a bit of a landslide!

    Linda - they do! Far too often

  12. Hi Jemi,

    A lot of kids get a bad wrap these days. A most unfair judgement from my experience. Your posting confirms this and the youth are the inspiration that can inspire us.

    Wonderful stuff, Jemi and hearty congrats to the lovely Michelle on her third years of blogging.

    A peaceful weekend to you.

    Gary :)

  13. I was really touched by your stories. I agree - my students continually amaze me and fill my heart.

  14. What a great school you work in. Kids always amaze me and people shouldn't be so negative about this generation.

  15. Hi Jemi!
    Kids are priceless!
    I've also just returned to the English classroom (beginning of February), and I'm really looking forward to the interaction with my grade 8 learners...
    Those RAoK's are amazing. I think we often underestimate kids...they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for...

    A quote to share: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
    ― Herman Melville

    ...and another...

    "What I've come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion--everyday acts of compassion. In South Africa they have a phrase called ubuntu. Ubuntu comes out of a philosophy that says, the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me." - from a TED video featuring award-winning Nigerian author Chris Abani.(check it out if you get a moment...)

    Thank you for reaching out across cyberspace to share in the spirit of Ubuntu!

  16. Gary - Thanks! Kids really are awesome! :)

    Leslie - we do have one of the best jobs in the world! :)

    Medeia - I do! It's funny how judgment of a whole group tends to rest on the shoulders of so very few!

    Michelle - those quotes are awesome! Thanks again for this wonderful blog hop!! :)

  17. love the idea of the smile cards... such simple but delightful idea!

  18. Dezzy - She created a LOT of smiles with that one! :)

  19. To me, it's very heartening to know that there are young kids out there like that. You always hear about the bullying kids and the ones who do horrible things - but it's nice to know there are more types than that out there!

  20. Like Trisha F, a lot of time you heard of the bullying kids and other negative things and it's nice to hear about the positive things too. I wish they were also highlighted, not because I want us to pretend the bad does not exist, but so we can also celebrate the good in humanity.

  21. Trisha - it is! The vast majority of kids are fantastic but they rarely make the news!

    Damaria - and so we should but our culture seems to focus on magnifying the negatives at the moment. Frustrating when there are SO many great kids out there!

  22. Hi, jemi,

    Sounds like you are very lucky to have such wonderful kids in your class and at your school. It so nice to hear. Living in Chicago all I ever hear about are teens on drugs, teens, shooting other teens, and just plain violence all around.

    Thanks for sharing your teens with us!

  23. Michael - Sadly I think the media and our cultural love of hearing the worst are partly responsible. There are so many awesome kids out there but we don't always hear of them!

  24. Your kids are amazing. It's wonderful that things kids can do these days to help others.

  25. Nicole - they are!! And there are so many of them out there!

  26. What a super way to celebrate a blogoversary! I've loved reading all of the posts about Ubuntu, and yours was lovely, Jemi. Those kids are lucky to have you just as you're lucky to have them.

    p.s. I've left you a small something at The Write Game. Hope you like it.

  27. Lynda - me too! She kept it mostly anonymous, but let me in on her identity :)

    Lee - I agree - Michelle's idea was awesome! Off I go... :)

  28. I love, love, love this post! So uplifting!

    My daughter is constantly going out of her way to make other students' days brighter. Also, she and her brother have a fellow student with cancer--the school put on a number of fundraisers and donated over $2000 to the family.

  29. Tara - Good for them! I love hearing stories like that - we don't spread them around enough! :)

  30. It's wonderful to hear such kind, thoughtful things people do! I rarely watch the news on TV, but if I do it bums me out that there's so rarely any good will news shared, and I know plenty of great things happen all the time. It'd probably be better for boosting human morale to sandwich all the bad news between a little piece of good news at the beginning and end of each news hour.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  31. Laura - totally agree! If the news is all bad, it's more depressing than almost anything - a little hope and joy goes a long way!