One teacher is doing the most remarkable (and remarkably simple) thing. He starts the day by paying each of his students a compliment.
Is that it? Yes, a compliment, that's all.
But for the children in Chris Ulmer's class, hearing something positive about themselves is not the norm. These kids all have varying special needs - from brain trauma to autism - and are used to hearing society's message that they aren't worthy or acceptable as they are.
So the Florida teacher set out to challenge and confound society, one compliment at a time. For the first 10 minutes of every day, he singles out each child and delivers personal compliments.
Children learn to love or hate at an early age.I think it's time we actively work towards teaching love and acceptance.Posted by Special Books by Special Kids on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Like I recently learned, a little praise can go a long way for kids accustomed to hearing a litany of things they are doing 'wrong' (read: differently).
Not surprisingly, the students are reaping the rewards of such positivity. Not only has the daily ritual boosted self-esteem, the kids are now paying spontaneous compliments to each other.
Ulmer, or Mr Chris as he's known, has also worked tirelessly to create a website that showcases the many gifts of his 'special' students while highlighting the realities of their respective conditions.
In Special Books by Special Kids, the students - who have been working with Mr Chris for the past three years - became the authors of their own stories in a book that is currently being finalized by Ulmer.
Ulmer's approach to education is as impressive as his ambition to deliver a loving message about kids who don't fit into a perfect category is humbling.
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