Before the school year began, I had a plan to look for the beautiful in each day. My cousin Laurie challenged our Sunday school class to be watchful for the beautiful, and immediately I knew I wanted this for my classroom too. I didn't have all the logistics figured out, but my basic plan was to share three beautiful things with parents on my class website each day. So on day one of school, I did just that. I took pictures of three beautiful things from the day, wrote about them, and posted it on my class site. I have yet to miss a day.
The majority of the beautiful things I find are somehow linked to their character and the wonderful ways it's displayed toward others. Sometimes I also find beautiful things related to someone who is applying a skill or strategy that was recently talked about. It's been so good for me to go through the day with a mindset of looking for beautiful moments like these. It's been good for the kids too. I'm able to highlight the positive things they do, which I believe creates a contagious kind of atmosphere.
It hasn't felt like a chore to update my website on a daily basis. Instead it's been rewarding to share the beautiful and kind things my students are doing every day. My website views are much higher this year than last too. I think I've created a hook for both kids and parents that keeps them looking and wanting more.
Because I want to make sure everyone in my class is being fairly represented, I keep track on a spreadsheet of who is included every day in my beautiful things. This also helps heighten my awareness of the quiet, shy ones who can sometimes be overlooked.
Even before school started I knew I wanted to include the kids in the process of identifying the beautiful. I just didn't know how. I didn't want to totally turn it over to them, because I still want to make sure everyone is equally mentioned. Just this weekend I came up with a solution that I think will work. Each day, someone new will be in charge of writing down their own three beautiful things from the day. I'll include their list with my own. (If you visit my class site, you'll see our first student's list from today, but below is a sneak peek. He did such a great job.)
I invite you to check out the beautiful things on my website. Maybe it will inspire you to find your own.
(Click on the words above to visit the site.)