Countdowns are not particularly my favorite thing. I also find a bit discouraging the fact that many people decorate their houses for Christmas since early November or even October! I always start decorating the school in December because students love it and I don't have the heart to deny them the joy of helping out and hanging ornaments on our Christmas tree.
I don't like the bitter reality of an extremely consumer's society, already gone bad and spoilt. Recession brought some harsh realizations; during the last decade or even more, the thought of "no money = lousy Christmas" has been the prevailing one.
Fortunately, many people have commenced another way of thinking. Most of us really appreciate the gift of good health, or the fact that we still have a job, no matter how underpaid or hard it is. Perhaps, this was one way to come to a realization of how blessed we are.
So, after taking a sip of coffee and frowning at the thought of having to undig the Christmas tree, ornaments and decorations, I had the usual thought of printing a pattern of an advent kind of calendar I've been using for many years now so the students can have fun while they wait for their next class.
And then I actually said it out loud: "Boring!"
I always think that if I probably find an activity or an exercise -or anything else for that matter- boring, what will the students think about it then!? (And that's why I turn every course book upside down!)
All of a sudden, it hit me! I love having students creating word walls, bulletin boards and presenting projects. Santa's beard will be there, but since Christmas is a great holiday, what about doing something meaningful.
Starting tomorrow, every student will have to post a report on their daily good deeds! They must do something kind and demonstrate their sense of altruism once a day or more times if they wish to. Subsequently, when they come at school, they must take a piece of paper, write down what their selfless act was and pin it on our boards.
It shouldn't be complicated and the students should focus on simple every day actions, such as helping at home, grabbing the opportunity to take a glass of water to their parents or their siblings, offering to help in class either their teacher or one of their classmates. On the other hand, if they are the recipients of a good deed, they should always savor and taste the words "thank you" and really mean "thank you" when they say it. But even when they perform a good deed, they must understand that not everyone will be grateful; in this case, they should just be happy they helped someone and this is the most satisfactory part! And why not? An excellent way to show Santa who's been naughty or nice!
I hope to post a happy, full of kindness wall, by Christmas. Until then...