Let Students Design Their Own Social Change Projects

At Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School, Changemaker Days help kids develop skills for a rapidly changing world.

"Welcome to Tuesday and the school's Changemaker Day!" read the whiteboard in Mr. Frazell's third grade classroom. It was a beautiful morning, and Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School's inaugural Changemaker Day was about to begin. Throughout the day, students across the grade levels at Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS would be putting the changemaker projects they designed as a class into action. In Mr. Frazell’s third grade, students decided to foster a culture of kindness by creating posters to inspire other students and teachers in the school.

As the students sat in a circle, I watched Mr. Frazell prompt his class to brainstorm words that the posters should use. All of the students had a word to contribute to the list, which included phrases such as: Are you okay? Hi, would you like to play? Sure, I will help you.

The first of many Changemaker Day projects to come over the next few months, Mr. Frazell's third grade class expressed much joy in making their school a better place.

This joyful introduction to changemaking at a young age was the most exciting part of Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS's Changemaker Day. Teachers skillfully introduced changemaking to students in developmentally appropriate ways. Master teachers guided their elementary school students through a process of identifying problems that they saw in their school, and encouraged them to work together to devise solutions. The problems and solutions looked different among the grades, but all students had the opportunity to work in teams, practice empathic leadership, and take initiative to improve their classroom, their school, or the surrounding community.

Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS is not stopping with one Changemaker Day this year. Indeed, Changemaker Day will be a monthly event, giving students the opportunity to grow as changemakers and produce increasingly sophisticated projects. So when the Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS 4th graders graduate this year or when the rest of the student body advances to the next grade level, they will leave with the beginnings of a skill set that will allow them to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

A version of this post originally appeared at Start Empathy.

Photo courtesy of Start Empathy

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading