The goodbye circle is where we sit and listen to each other say good bye with a compliment or a positive memory about each other. We look at them and speak from the heart. It is very touching and sweet what these boys who have known each other a very long time, say to each other and to their teachers . Listening to these sweet boys touched my heart deeply. So many thank-yous for playing with me, being my friend, shared interests, growing up together, standing beside me…. whew! not many dry eyes for the adults. It is our hope they remember all the positives and continue to be kind to each other and themselves.
We are a family and it becomes very evident the last week of school. A 5th grade student reminded me to schedule the goodbye circle for the last day. When I asked him why it was important to him he said, ' Because it is a tradition and I have been practicing.' He was remembering the two previous year's goodbye circles he had participated in.
Sending kind thoughts, doing kind acts and thinking about others in a positive way has been an ongoing focus in class when someone is absent, upset or needs encouragement. I started this lesson quietly giving children a personal compliment, smiling and walking away.
We talked about how it felt to receive a compliment. Most had forgotten the compliment I had given them earlier. Several noticed that it was easy to forget compliments and wondered why that was. We talked about those 'sticky thoughts and words' from a previous lesson sprinkled with some brain science ( which they love). This tied in well to our red/green thought metaphor and how sticky a negative thought can be. ( Scroll down when you get here to see this lesson on how negative words are sticky like post its.) We decided we needed to 'pause' and let the compliment be felt.
The children were able to talk about what they noticed during this lesson on sending kind thoughts and their insight was at times rather poignant. We then went to the Emwave room and a few tried thinking/sending kind thoughts as they used their Emwaves. Several noted a feeling of calm when they tried.
The children added another page to their Mindful Notebook on sending kind thoughts. They also wrote a reflection on when they have used 5 count breathing outside the classroom.