Amanda Vispo, AmeriCorps Member serving at Northwest Elementary.
People might not typically think of lunch as being a productive 20 minutes, but on Mondays and Wednesdays in Room 214 our lunch time is anything but a break. A stranger could walk by during any given meeting and have no idea the assembled group has been chosen because of behavioral issues. My five students and I spend our time enjoying an “indoor picnic”, playing ice breaker games, discussing our days and thinking about what good deeds, or Acts of Greatness, we can accomplish before our next meeting. Some sessions we spend time writing down our completed acts, talking about what prevented us from reaching our goals and even discussing struggles we have had since our last meeting. It may seem like a concept that would be too grand for a group of eight year olds, but I am happy to report that as a group we are really making a difference.
Our Greatness Logs
We began our journey together by brainstorming what exactly an Act of Greatness is, what kinds we could accomplish and how many we would challenge ourselves to complete. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a yearlong goal, we take it week by week and always sharing our personal progress with the group on Mondays. A nice way to keep track of our success is by recording our completed acts in our Greatness Logs. Just over the past month, our group has completed nearly 25 acts overall! Some of them include offering to set the table at home, holding the door for classmates, sitting with a friend that looks lonely, helping take care of a younger sibling, giving someone a compliment and even letting our friends pick what game we play at recess.
Students Reflecting On What They’re Thankful For