Today I had one of my teaching colleagues come in and give an incredible presentation to my entire team - roughly 80 kids. We all smooshed into another colleague's classroom because he has a Smartboard...thanks Smartboard colleague. Okay, so, you know I'm in my social action unit and my friend/colleague, we'll call her M, she volunteered to go to Kosovo two different summers in a row. She ran a summer camp with a secret mission of bringing the Serbian and the Albanian children together under the guise of English Camp.
It worked. For the first time, ever, Serbian and Albanian children were able to humanize each other through her two week summer camp. She geniusly designed every activity to show things they'd have in common with each other - colors, flowers, animals, etc...
She is about the most humble/outstanding human being I know so it took some coaxing to get her to agree to speaking and sharing her photographs...but she gave in. I told her, she, is the living, breathing embodiment of social action. Cause she is.
She shared photographs of her time in Kosovo and history of the conflict as well as making the most impactful points to my kids:
- how lucky we are to have what we have in this country (24 hr. electricity, running water, government on our side, police on our side, more than one outfit, modern schools, supermarkets, etc...)
- how we all smile in the same language
- how powerful it is to intentionally make a difference in another human being's life - no matter how small the gesture
We had eighty 12 year-olds all in one room, and you seriously would've heard a pin drop. Isn't that cool? Afterwards, I had them write a reflection of the presentation - you know, their thoughts, reactions, etc... My kids would not stop writing. And their writing was so deep, so connected, so present. Not any blah, blah, blah.