Sometimes just a few kind words from a loved one can turn your whole day around.
Justin Parmenter, a 7th grade language arts teacher from Charlotte, North Carolina, heard about a brilliant idea to encourage kids who might be having a bad day. At the school’s open house night, Justin hung up a sign and asked all parents in attendance to write their child a note. The note should be encouraging and filled with the kind of love and praise that everyone craves, particularly from a parent.
The idea originated with a teacher named Alicia Johal from San Diego, California. When Alicia tweeted about her note idea, the idea spread like wildfire around the internet. She explained that the idea to spring a note of encouragement on a struggling student emerged from one of her own life experiences.
“I am not a child any more, but I will always be their child. It means something,” she said. “I was having a tough time and received two cards during the same week, one from my mom and one from my dad. Their handwritten notes of love and encouragement haven’t left my desk in 5 months, and I refer back to them when I need to.”
Teachers agree that although they try their hardest to motivate and inspire their students, when they’re having a rough time the people they really want to hear from are their parents. Most kids really crave a pat on the back from mom and dad. Now, more and more teachers like Justin are using the idea, and it’s changing kids’ lives from coast to coast.
So, I did this at Open Day today. Thanks for the great idea! pic.twitter.com/u6RPUMo1Bh
— Shirin Palkhivala Petit (@shirinpetit) August 31, 2018
“Even though my students are 12 or 13 years old, there are days when I get the sense that they could use a hug from their mom in the middle of the school day,” Justin said. “This note card idea seemed like a way to provide them with some emotional support only a family member who knows them really well can give.”
Teachers from all over the country are now using Alicia’s idea, and some are even coming up with creative ways to father those encouraging messages, even if the parents aren’t able to be there for open house. Alicia even set up a Google Voice phone number so parents could record a brief pep talk for their kids, to be used on a day when they really need to hear a family member’s voice.
“Human beings of all ages need a reminder of how many people love and care about them,” Alicia stated. “If every child walked into my classroom with their love-cup filled, I think schools would be dramatically different today.”
What a fabulous way to send a virtual hug to our kids during the school day! Thank you to these wonderful teachers for constantly coming up with innovative ways to support their students.
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