When Kristen McCulloch, a teacher, walked into her classroom one day, she did something that not many teachers would do.
She asked her students to write down their problems anonymously. Then, she took what everyone wrote and put it into a plastic bag. She sat her students down, and one by one, she read out each problem in the bag. Little did she know, this little experiment would have a profound effect not only on her students but people all across the nation.
When she posted about her experiment on Facebook, she did so with the intention of informing close friends. She never expected the post to go viral with over hundred thousand people sharing it.
Read on below to see why the post went viral and the effect of the experiment.
“If you walk into our classroom now, you’ll see a bag hanging by our door. This bag contains everything our class carries to school that we consider problems or bad things in our lives. The things that distract us, sadden us, or make us angry.
Something I have found in common with every student conversation about something upsetting them is that the student believes he/ she is the only one who has a problem, hard life, family problem, whatever it may be.”
“So today, we all anonymously wrote down on paper what was heavy on our hearts, crumpled them up, and threw them. I mixed them all up and students had to pick one up and we all ready them out loud. I could not believe some of the things they have to deal with at home, and neither could their peers. It resulted in a lot of tears, a lot of hugs, a lot of ‘I had no idea so many people had hard things to deal with too.’
The message of the project, as I discussed with them, is that you never know the weight that people are carrying. It is so important to remember that when we interact with others. I wanted them to see that they were not alone and that they had a whole class of people who could relate and support them.”
“Our stories now hang by our door as a reminder to remember the “bag” others may carry with them”
School is more than just education. While learning the curriculum is important, it’s just as important to learn how to interact and understand peers and classmates. There’s more to this world than what a book can teach us, and this teacher is doing a great job with her students.
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