Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hats That Empower

I've always been inspired by Angela Maiers @angelamaiers and the #YOUMATTER movement that she started. Thursday, I tried to watch the #leadupteach Blab featuring Angela as a guest. For some reason, I had plenty of tech issues. But that didn't stop me from hearing about and seeing the T-shirts that kids wore as part of an activity she did with them to share their genius. Of course, I couldn't afford purchasing T-shirts for the kids, but I did have a collection of white hats. I found them several years ago in a thrift store (brand new) for $2.00 ea. I bought them because I always grab items that I can use for drama. They were just items in my storage and because I'm trying to downsize, I thought they'd be perfect for the kids to use instead of T-shirts. (I really don't know where I'll be in my career in a couple of years. Using the hats this year made sense.)

I've had kids sign T-shirts and even hats before for an end of year activity. But, I haven't used that activity with a focus on sharing each others' genius. Just the little shift of focus made a HUGE difference! Kids loved them!

Today was especially sweet because it was our last day together as a whole class. About 5 of my boys are leaving for a scout camp. (That's the negative of being on year-round.) We celebrated by signing hats, eating pizza that the kids had earned from ThinkThroughMath and ice cream after lunch. Most of our day, we worked on our book. Yes, we're still working on it! That's another blog post.

One of my boys touched my heart. I was sitting on the couch, surrounded by kids signing hats, listening to the "kid talk", when I overheard him say, "This hat is so cool! These hats will make us feel strong when we wear them. I'm going to wear it every time someone makes fun of me for dancing." You see, he's a great dancer but has been told that "Boys don't dance." He's also really great at gymnastics and break dancing is his specialty. He loves it! It's his passion! His peers wrote all over his hat about how he'd be a star some day and to follow his passion for dancing and gymnastics. They recognize the genius in him!

I hope he wears his hat! I hope it empowers him to dream big and follow his passion! He inspired me today.

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