I like to begin class with a Q/A. A Q/A is a question or an idea to be explored. Here is an example:
Q/A: We need healthy relationships with other people. So, we naturally look for friends. Whether you are the new person at school, in the neighborhood, or at a job, you are looking for a friend. So, what characteristics or type of person will you be looking for or attracted to?
I’m going to bet, the person who meets your eye, smiles, talks and listens to you and makes you feel comfortable and on equal footing because these actions are a universal language of kindness.
You know your kids, write down what you think they will say. (I’m always interested if my guess is correct. Some class periods yes, some no.)
Inform you Students
Online Dating Services provide a way for people to meet. These services have created a battery of questions to be answered; developed algorithms to analyze those answers to determine who might be the best match for you. The Dating Service’s success is determined by the satisfied/happy paying customer who is provided with a successful match and then tells others. The Dating Services have discovered the main element in a successful longterm relationship is not physical beauty, success, personality, common likes/dislikes, it is kindness consistently demonstrated by both parties.
Physical beauty, success, personality, common likes/dislikes do attract people. People with these characteristics are within our social circle. But the inner most circle of the few (the people who we really hold dear, our bestest friends) possess the consistent character trait of KINDNESS.
Q/A: Write down 10 actions that demonstrate you are a kind person. This is a character thing; something to think about. You are what you do. Kindness is a core value that requires unselfish effort. The return is a foundation for trusted, happy and healthy relationships which will improve your self-respect and confidence.
At the end of the day, you want to have a friend. Describe the person you are looking for…..
Review one more time—
Q/A: Are you a kind person? What would the atmosphere be like at school, in your home etc, if everyone did the above?
In lesson 3 entitled Loves Taps in my Decision Making Unit, there is a story where a girl writes Dear Abby about her situation. (google- Dear Abby Love Taps) In the second sentence of her letter, she describes her relationship with her boyfriend. “We have a great relationship except……..”
I ask the students to describe this girl’s problem. I have never had a student say, “the problem is she thinks she has a great relationship”. They think the abuse is the problem.
I then ask the students to turn to their pink sheets (sheets they filled out the first day of class where they write their hopes and dreams in several areas of life. ) “Turn to the Relationship Section. How many of you wrote down, “I want a person in my life who disrespects me?” NOBODY wrote that down. The first characteristic they wrote/write. I want someone who is kind.
The purpose of the lesson is 1. being a kind person is a decision you make and something you do consistently 2. it is important to know what kindness looks like so you can model it and recognize it when you see it or experience it.
The remainder of the lesson is for the students to provide a solution to this girl’s problem, How she should say NO now because she didn’t know how to lay a boundary in the beginning (If you really like me, you would want to do what was best for me. People settle for being useful, or fun to be with.)
Some of the things I have learned: