Being an educator in the American public school system is one of the hardest jobs in our nation. Not only is the work itself challenging, but with constant battles for educational funding and a student body increasingly tethered to their electronic devices, most teachers in America and around the world are navigating uncharted territory when it comes to finding ways to keep their students engaged in their studies.
They say that kids say the darnedest things, and seriously, they do. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with young children knows that sometimes the things they say can blow your mind.
Since teachers spend more time around little kids than anyone else, they are particularly privy to their profound and hilarious thoughts. That's why NYC kindergarten teacher Alyssa Cowit started collecting kid quotes from teachers around the country and sharing them on her Instagram account, Live from Snack Time, as well as her websiteand other social media channels.
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The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.
Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.
Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.
What a beautiful idea.
Update from the author: I wrote a follow-up to this article sharing a trauma-informed perspective of the activity. You can read it here.
Karen Loewe has been teaching for 22 years. Clearly, all of that experience has given her a solid bead on what her students really need.
The middle school English teacher from Oklahoma shared an activity she did with her students for the first day of school on Facebook and it's gone insanely viral. In just three days, her post has already been shared more than 335,000 times.
What has caught people's attention is something we all have in common—emotional baggage. We live in an era of rising mental health awareness, but also increased social pressures to appear as if you have all of your sh*t together. For kids in the turbulent middle school years, whose their bodies, minds, and spirits are growing at breakneck pace, having a place to share their emotional turmoil can be incredibly helpful. But many kids don't have a safe, supportive place to do that.