giving and grading…

12. December 2013 education, photos, randomness 2

’tis the season.

you know, for wrapping presents, and planning menus, and getting together.

it’s also the season for papers, final projects, and those last speeches.

tonight, i finished up my night class for the semester.  i’ve really been blessed to have some great students.  one of my biggest fears as a teacher is to have a dead class.  considering my tech school class is a 3 hour night one, it really would be torture.

for me and for them.

but, like i said, i’m blessed.  i always seem to get some really interesting students with compelling personalities that create a nice blend of support.  it’s great.

this night class was no exception.

however, tonight was the first night my class–and me– have finished the semester with something other than the final speeches and a plate or two of cookies.

earlier this semester, the topic of homelessness came up in our class– and it seemed that most of the class had the same thing in common: a desire to help but not quite sure how to.

so… we decided to work together to make some help bags: they are bags filled with non-perishable items that are helpful this time of year.  you keep the bag in your car, and then, if you find someone who needs help, you have it there with you to hand it to him or her.

we passed a sign-up sheet around and all brought in different items that might be helpful, such as:

  • hats
  • scarves (one student and her mom and grandma actually crocheted some!)
  • gloves
  • toothbrushes and tooth paste
  • granola bars
  • containers of fruits and spoons
  • tissues
  • bottled water
  • combs
  • moisture wipes
  • etc.

after we finished our final speeches, the students all grabbed a bag and began loading them up.  we actually had so much stuff that we were able to make more than one bag per person (what we had originally planned).  several students left with extra bags, and one student in particular took several with plans to visit a tent community in the area.

here’s a shot of us as a class, with our finished help bags!

help bags

it was such a big success that i’m hoping to try it with other classes and change the contents up to be helpful for the time of year it is: maybe a visor, extra water, and some sunblock during the summer months.

who knows?

maybe every season can be the season– for giving, that is. :)


2 thoughts on “giving and grading…”

  • 1
    Matthew Callison on December 18, 2013

    Speaking as someone who has lived on the streets, just the simple act of kindness from a stranger, by giving even a couple bucks, or a sandwich, and a merry Christmas or some sort of “I hope things get better for you.” means so much to the person receiving. Most people look at the homeless as less than human, and deserving of their fate. But if there is one thing we should take away from those less fortunate, is that, save for the Grace of God, we are all one or two paychecks away from the streets ourselves. We should thank God that we have a home and food and such, and seek to help (both physical and spiritual) those less fortunate than ourselves. That is what Christ was all about when He was on earth.

  • slcB 2
    slcB on December 18, 2013

    matt,

    thanks so much for your perspective! i’m glad to know that the gesture of the help bags would be perceived well! so often, it is easy to think something you are doing is helping, when in reality, you are accidentally being offensive or insulting.

    like i mentioned in the post, i’m hoping this is something that i can begin to do in more classes so we might be able to help even more people.

    i’m not sure if you still find yourself in a hard place, but if so– i do hope things get better for you. and i hope that you receive both kind words and deeds during this Christmastime– and every time.

    thank you so much for your words!

    stephanie

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