Raising good citizens in the parameters of a classroom / school. 
On the evening of the back to school night, my daughter’s teacher handed the parents a questionnaire. A simple set of questions to get to know each child and who better than the parents to answer that. As she explained what she expected the parents to fill, she said “Your inputs will help me raise good citizens. That is something I  promise every school year.”  That is all that I needed to hear that evening. That was mattered to me the most. I knew my daughter and every other student in the class would learn math, language arts, science and history inevitably. They always do. 
The life lessons, the good citizen lessons are the ones that get largely ignored. Ironically, they are the ones most needed in life. 
Few weeks into this school year, I see a lot of the promise implemented. There are simple ground rules in the class. It involves helping around in the class, being nice to others, sharing, keeping your desks organized, no teasing or bullying, being a good listener and et all. If you can follow the rules, you earn a sticker a day. If you earn 10 stickers, the teacher will reward you in some way. Nothing big. A shiny pencil or a penguin looking eraser is incentive enough for a first grader. The card with the stickers says “Fabulous” followed by the child’s name. Everyone gets rewarded for whatever little they have achieved, no good deeds ignored. 
Likewise, at every level, every grade I have heard of and met teachers who have adopted simple techniques to teach the meaningful lessons of life. We have written about “Eye Message”, “Walk Talk Rock” on the blog before. We applaud our teachers for the curriculum they teach, we thank them for the GATE and SAT scores, we thank them when the children make it to IVY leagues. We often forget to applaud, appreciate, even acknowledge them for the most valuable lessons in life that they teach. 
We at chatoveracuppa, take this opportunity to share with you some of the great teacher/school lead initiatives that we have seen or experienced – 
1.  Donation Drive – Asking students to donate their almost new toys and games, books, new pair of shoes, non-perishable food, blanket, sleeping bags etc for children who are less fortunate. Life Lesson – #Generosity 

2.  Voluntary Work –  Traffic duty around the school, cleaning up a neighborhood community, ensuring the school is litter free, making sandwiches in the kitchen of a shelter. Life Lesson – #Sense of community. #Responsibility 

3. Care – In an elementary school the donation drive was taken a little further and the children were taken on a field trip to share what they have donated with the little residents of a children’s hospital. Life Lesson – #Compassion

3. Celebrating Diversity – In a particular school, on UN day there was a fair with a representation from 30 countries showcasing their cuisine, their arts and crafts, their culture, literature etc. Each student was given a passport, with a world map on it. For every stall(thus country) they visited, they would get it stamped on their passport. A huge event organized by just the teachers and the parents. The children went back home embracing lot more about each other’s culture. Life Lesson – #Respecting Diversity. 
4. Organic Garden – Many schools in Califorina have this now. An organic garden maintained in the school campus, maintained by the students in the teacher’s supervision. A basic life skills to learn to grow your own food.  The fruits and vegetables from the garden are served to the students. Children learn to respect and appreciate what is is served on their plates. Life Lesson – #Survival 

5. Penmanship  – A pen-pal program with students from the other part of the globe. The letter MUST be handwritten. Life Lesson – #Save the extinction of penmanship. 

6. Rock And Roll –  In a middle school, a teacher was seeing unusually grumpy and very aggressive children every morning. So for 5 minutes every morning, he would switch on the radio and put on a foot tapping music. Initially reluctant, the kids eventually started to join him. 5 mins of free style dancing was all that was needed to push all the negative emotions out of the door. The day went more productive than anticipated.  Life Lesson – # Positivity, #Celebration Of Life 

Contributed By : The Chatoveracuppa Team 
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