by David Safier
This story about a bunch of middle school football players from Olivet, Michigan, has been knocking around on Facebook for a week or two. If you haven't seen it yet and you're looking for a little mood elevation, take 3 minutes to watch. You'll feel proud of our species, for a little while anyway.
While it got me all teared up (softie teacher that I am), I wasn't surprised at what I saw. Young people are as capable of acts of marvelous kindness and warmth as they are of cruelty and bullying. I like to think the balance leans toward kindness, and that one of our most important jobs as teachers is to encourage that inclination, even if it means taking a few moments away from test prep. I've seen my students be "touched . . . by the better angels of our nature" (better attribute that quote to Abe Lincoln so I don't pull a Rand Paul here) on many occasions. No way I was going to spend 30+ years in the classroom if I didn't find my students more wonderful than not.
Here's the video.