May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep
Within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people
So that we may work for justice,
Freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our
Hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with
Just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make
A difference in the world,
So that we can do what others
Claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to
All our children and
All our neighbors who are poor.
Last night during our Genius Hour Twitter chat and book study of Angela Maiers and Amy Sanvold‘s The Passion-Driven Classroom, I was inspired by passionate educators who inspire passion in their students. I wondered how to help young teens harness their energetic spirit and begin to use it to make the world a better place.
How do I inspire them to act? Could they ever be ready for Angela’s Quest2Matter?
Well, little did I know that I would come to school today, and they would be thinking the same thing I was. How did that happen?
I do have an idea about what inspired them, and it’s very simple. And unrelated to my pep talks.
Well, when they got to the “A” column – “What action will I take?” – they took the chart seriously. That’s when they started brainstorming. Five of them had chosen to study some aspect of Down syndrome, and they were working on the same Google Document. I started hearing things like, “Let’s go on a Buddy Walk.” “Let’s have a car wash and raise money for GiGi’s Playhouse.” “Let’s play games with the residents at Hope Haven.”
They didn’t stop with Down syndrome. They continued their conversation the next period in study hall and came up with this list. (They said we can do some of the list next year. 🙂 Thank goodness! Since school is out for summer in three weeks!)
When I met up with them again, they had shared the above Google Doc with me, talked to our principal, emailed a principal at a sister school to see if their 7th graders could join in, emailed the manager at a grocery store to see if we can have a car wash, contacted GiGi’s Playhouse, and…who knows what else!
I loved the conversation I heard: “Can we keep working on this sixth period?” “How about tomorrow? We can work on it in Genius Hour, right?”
Here, I would have thought I was trying to inspire this kind of action all year. If I would have known, I would have tried the upgraded KWL chart months ago!
I love my genius students! And my genius PLN! And, yes, I think they will be ready!