Buckets filled at Clements/Parsons Elementary
By MEGAN TAWNEY
Special to Leader-Press
The perplexing question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” was answered at Clements-Parsons Elementary. The glass, the bucket or whatever one is filing should be full to the brim. That was the message that campus guidance counselors, Audrey Trahan and Julie Armstrong, shared with students as it relates to acts of kindness.
Armstrong and Trahan read the story, Have You Filled a Bucket Today, as part of their guidance lesson. The story explains what the invisible bucket is and that everyone to include parents, grandparents, neighbors, siblings, has an invisible bucket.
“The invisible bucket idea encourages students to talk about how being kind to others makes them feel and, in turn, how others feel when we are kind to them,” Armstrong said. “We also discussed ‘bucket dipping,’ or how we feel when people are unkind, or mean, to us. The students enjoyed identifying ways to be kind and being bucket fillers.”
The lesson was conducted with all students in kindergarten through second grades. A couple of students had difficulty imagining their buckets.
“They thought I was talking about a real bucket, and said they could fill theirs with water. After further discussion and examples, the students understood the concept of an invisible bucket meaning how they feel,” Armstrong said “The most challenging thing was explaining to a student that while it is nice to buy something for someone, we can be kind to others by our actions and our words.”
Students identified ways they could fill buckets at home by helping their moms with the laundry, playing a game with their dads, and helping a sibling clean up a mess. At the end of the lesson, first grade students were informally talking about how they could fill the buckets of others.
First grade bi-lingual student Sebastian Hernandez Garcia was excited to fill a fellow student’s bucket.
“I gave him my biggest smile so he could see it even under my mask,” Garcia said. “I told him, ‘And, you can fill my bucket with a smile too.”
Armstrong said the most rewarding thing was hearing the continuing conversations. The counselors made an anchor chart for each grade level with everyone’s ideas written on it and hung it in the grade level’s hallway so teachers and students may refer to it all year.
“I hope I have planted a seed that will transfer to how these students interact with the world when they are adults,” Armstrong said.