As we began I was feeling very sad for my students and also motivated to find a way to make a change. I didn't have to search far. The work had already been done, the plan made. Jena Ball (Jenaia Morane) and Marty Keltz had it in place and as we walked the path they had laid out, a change was happening and enfolding before us. It was a beautiful and amazing experience, and I am certain my words will not be able to completely explain
Jena Ball has written an amazing book called The Not Perfect Hat Club . She uses the power of student's connections to animals and created these animals to work through the problems and find solutions to the many problems children face about the impossible search for perfection.
Alongside the reading of an amazing book we also connected with classrooms around the globe. We participated in weekly readings, and even lessons on illustrating. Students were given a voice and opportunities to reflect in discussions, through creations and writing in their blogs. We tweeted out their blogs, connected with Brian Host's class in Australia and Jena herself took the time to read and comment on their blogs. The students truly came to love Jena and feel a strong connection. Jena's words and activities helped them to discover truths about themselves and the false search for perfection. They discovered how wonderful they are, and what they could accomplish. They learned that each of them is unique. They know they each will take their own path and must find the things they can aim to be excellent at. They know it is okay to be different and is absolutely okay to make mistakes. They had journeyed a far distance from where they had started.
The journey is not one we will forget. It is also not one that is over. We have been changed, but we are only beginning to emerge from the traps they had found their young selves already in. We will continue to move from these cocoons and become the beautiful butterflies they each are. Then we will also fly and spread the word! Our journey will not be complete if it only changes us. We want parents to understand, coaches, other classrooms and teachers. This is a journey we want to share and celebrate with others.
They have taken a pledge to wear their not perfect hats. We hope you will join us in this journey and discover the same hope and promises we now know.
Please check out our students blogs here ..you can read their words and see their change of mindset. I'll give you a peek through some of our photos as well.
|Taking the pledge.|
|What they are capable of!|
|Our New Hats...we are official!|