Last month I spoke to all the students about ways to practice empathy. Empathy is a skill to be learned just like reading or math facts. And since research shows that empathetic classrooms reduce bullying significantly, it is vital to our students’ wellbeing to practice this skill.

One of the resources I used to share about empathy was the book How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath. When Felix’s bucket was empty because of a grumpy morning and teasing, he hoped others would have a bad day, too. But when his bucket was full because of praise and encouragement, he wanted to help others. He also learned that when he helped fill someone else’s bucket through kindness or a good deed, HIS bucket got filled, too!

I encouraged the students to practice filling others’ buckets this school year. The teachers and students shared with me some of the bucket fillers they’ve seen:

  • Nathan gave his squirrel picture to a student who didn’t get one but really wanted one.
  • Jacob swept up all the trash in the cafeteria for Mr. Steve.
  • Andrew tied another student’s shoes in carpool.
  • Trey gave his snack to another student because he knew she liked them.
  • Maddie and Peyton picked up trash without being asked.
  • The whole class congratulated each other after a social studies jeopardy game. Great sportsmanship!
  • Avery took the milk basket for a student who was having trouble.
  • Sam noticed that another student needed a napkin, and he got one without being asked.

There are many, many more “bucket filling actions” happening every day around Christian Academy. What great examples of responsible, obedient, compassionate kids!