For some people, teaching is not just a job — it’s a calling. These teachers genuinely care about their students’ lives and problems and aren’t just waiting for the school day to end quicker.
One brilliant teacher who deeply cares about the kids in her class is Karen Wunderlich Loewe, an English Language Arts teacher at Collinsville Middle School, in Oklahoma. She cares about her students’ emotional and mental wellbeing so much, she tried out ‘The Baggage Activity’ in school, with astounding results.
A teacher at Collinsville Middle School did ‘The Baggage Activity’…
Image credits: karen.loewe
…where students wrote their emotional baggage on some paper and put it into a bag. What happened next was intense but wonderful
Kids anonymously wrote down what’s hurting or bothering them (i.e. their ‘baggage’) on a piece of paper, scrunched it up, and put it in a bag. Then, they all took turns reading them out loud. Those who wanted to, admitted that it was their baggage they were talking about. The students’ stories were heartrendingly raw.
In class, you would rarely expect kids to talk about death, cancer, suicide, drug-use in the family, as well as parents going to prison. But that’s exactly what they talked about with their teacher Karen. This makes you realize the type of emotional weight that some school kids have to carry on their shoulders every day.
However, there were flashes of (dark) comedy to be found in the classroom as well. For example, one of the kids said that their gerbil died ‘because it was fat.’ Alas, poor gerbil, we hardly knew ye.
According to the teacher, this was one of the most impactful days ever
Image credits: karen.loewe
According to Karen, this was one of the most emotional days she’s ever had as a teacher. Lots of people were affected by her story. When she shared it on Facebook, it went viral and now has nearly a million likes and over 637,000 shares. Any teacher is able to follow in Karen’s footsteps, but it doesn’t necessarily mean doing ‘The Baggage Activity.’
Teach Hub explains that any teacher is capable of helping their students deal with difficult periods in their lives, say when their parents are getting divorced or one of their family members is seriously ill.
Teachers provide consistency and a routine that helps students have a firm foundation to stand on, no matter what is happening outside of school. So help bring some order to your students’ lives. Furthermore, teachers who are compassionate and reinforce their students’ strengths will help them flourish. This way, the kids will also feel important and wanted, not neglected.
Some people thought that the activity was brilliant
However, others warned that such activities could have negative consequences
Image credits: msduane