July 19, 2024

In the absence of a colleague, we must take turns in looking after their learners. It was arts period when it was my turn to go to our colleague’s class. There was a girl sitting in front. She had a beautiful new coloring book that was obviously bought especially for that subject. Occupying the same row was another girl about the same age. This girl had no coloring book, and in fact, didn’t seem to have anything to occupy her.
So, when I gave the signal to start, the girl with the coloring book was busy coloring with her crayons spread out on the table while the other girl was looking longingly at them. I felt bad for her. I was about to go to my room to get some crayons when the first child torn a page from her nice coloring book and gave it to her seatmate and was sharing her crayons.
I moved forward and told the girl that sharing her coloring book was such a nice thing to do. She brightened up and was obviously pleased that someone had noticed. I don’t know how far that little exchange will go, but I would like to think that the next time she has to make a choice whether to share something or not, she will be reminded of the teacher who was proud of her because she made the right decision.
Everyone craves encouragement. But a lot of times it is us, teachers who need to do it. If you feel like you have no time, no energy, no expertise, no money, or too little, to give, don’t worry; that’s common to many of us. But we can all give through our words of encouragement, and we can spread love wherever we go. In just a few minutes, we can make a difference, at a jeepney line, crossing the street, at the shop, on a walk, at the office and most especially in our classroom. Our words don’t need to be profound or eloquent-just simple words that meet a person’s need for love, hope, significance, or comfort. Kindness and gratitude for others lead to greater feelings of satisfaction and security.
Here’s a question we can ask ourselves: What can I say to people most especially to children that will help them in some way? Lift their spirits, brighten their day, and make them feel good about themselves, appreciated, valued, worthwhile, and that what they’re doing counts?
Everyone appreciates knowing that they count, that they’re valuable, and that they’re doing something worthwhile. The kindness we give will give people faith in themselves and faith that there are people in the world who are good and kind and concerned. Perhaps our words of encouragement will just be one step in a person’s journey. Sometimes we might see the results of our encouragement; at other times, we will never get to see the results. If not, it may be a seed planted or watered that will be reaped at some future time. But the important thing is that we are givers. Love never fails, so even if our words don’t result in someone getting the point right away, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that people feel loved, appreciated, and valued. It’s a privilege to be a giver of kindness. Are you? (JACQUELINE L. FIANZA)