Copperas Cove teacher fills classroom with holiday spirit of kindness
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
Hettie Halstead Elementary first grader Carter Grooms is the new kid in class. But he instantly felt like part of the family thanks to the gestures of kindness teacher Kacie Chenoweth encourages students to share this holiday season.
“The last ten minutes of our school day, we wrote or drew something kind to our classmates to place in their stockings. Before we made the cards, we brainstormed together what we did throughout our day to show kindness to one another and then when we were finished, we drew pictures and wrote something kind to a different friend every day,” Chenoweth said. “The day before break, students were able to open the stockings filled with 17 different notes that showed them kindness from classmates.”
"Even though I am new, I like that I have a stocking and I can get to know everyone," Grooms said.
The activity has resulted in students sharing different ways to be kind. Every day, students do something different to show kindness to others. Chenoweth said one example was when a student shared with the class that he held the door open for his friends coming into the school. The very next day, Chenoweth witnessed other students showing that same act of kindness by opening the doors for their fellow students and welcoming them to school.
"I can show my friends how to be kind just like me,” student Serena Battles said.
Chenoweth said her students are willing to work together as a class to determine what act of kindness they will do the next day.
“It was getting more challenging as we have been doing the activity since December 1,” Chenoweth said. “But students are always willing to give good ideas and get better at showing kindness. My students look forward to this activity every day and are participating in showing kindness more every day.”
Chenoweth has turned her classroom into a home living room decorated for the holidays. She created from paper a faux fireplace where a stocking for each student hangs with his/her name on it. Students carefully place their words of kindness to their classmates into the stockings.
"It's like Christmas at school and at home," student Sean Frye said.