Compassion Taught at George G. Blaisdell Elementary School
Author: Leader in Me
March 3, 2020
Compassion taught at George G. Blaisdell elementary school is more than just the one lesson; it’s a life-lesson.
Amber Benjamin’s pre-k students at George G. Blaisdell Elementary School are learning that compassion is more than romance. It’s also about forming friendships and how words shape a relationship.
Taking shape through an exercise called a “Compliment Circle”, the 4-to-5-year-old students take turns giving each other compliments. How do these bright, young minds describe the process?
“We tell people compliments and sit down when they have to.”
“Our friends tell us something that you like.”
The process begins with all of the children sitting in a circle formation on the comfortable carpet with their legs straight out in front, their feet all in the center; that’s when the complimenting begins. Every time a student receives a compliment, he or she pulls their legs back out and sits with them crossed. The process is over once everyone has pulled their feet out of the middle of the circle, an indication that everyone has gotten complimented.
The process then starts with one person choosing another to give a compliment to. The complimenter looks their classmate in the eyes, says the person’s name aloud, and then gives them their compliment (to which the receiver says “thank you”).
What are some of the compliments being given out?
“I like when you sit by me at lunch.”
“I like when you play with me outside.”
“I really like your shoes.”
“I like you to play at the park with me.”
Benjamin herself also took a turn giving a compliment, selecting a student who made a homemade Valentine: “I really enjoyed that he was thinking about a friend when he was home,” she said.
Benjamin explains that “being proactive is one of the seven habits taught in The Leader in Me process at GGB.” The students were then given the chance to explain in their own words (with help from their ever-so-helpful teacher, of course) what being proactive means to them. One student’s explanation was especially touching: “We are doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking.”
Based on author Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, the Leader in Me process is helping these children early on how to be, well, highly effective people using kindness.
Benjamin explains that she tries to do the Compliment Circle with the students every Friday and since then the students have looked forward to their weekly game.