Friday, June 10, 2011
And Not from Dinner… This may sound like a riddle, but it’s no joke: What do you possess that multiplies every time you give it away? The answer: love, gratitude, and joy. It reminds me of a song called the Magic Penny that lingers in my brain from somewhere in childhood:
I’m full of gratitude for the amazing people in my life and the blessings they bring. Recently B “graduated” from preschool. While “graduating” did not require a whole lot of determination or perseverance on B’s part, it is an important milestone because he feels emotionally prepared to enter kindergarten in the fall (even if I’m not). The sense of completion and accomplishment he possesses is thanks to a fantastic teacher, a caring assistant teacher, and all the committed parents that make the class successful. So how does one acknowledge such a deep sense of gratitude with a token end-of-year gift? I’ll bet you know my answer: with a book!
Be a Filler, not a Dipper
If you are not already familiar with the concept of bucket filling, you may want to check out How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, or the associated strenths-based website. If you are familiar, you know that a bucket-filler is someone who uses their words or actions to make others feel good, and doing so makes the filler feel good as well. A dipper is someone who spreads negativity or unkindness. It’s one of those concepts that’s so simple it’s profound. While I think the depth of the grown-up version is worthwhile, the idea is soundly presented in picture book format by Carol McCloud in Have You Filled a Bucket Today? McCloud explains the bucket filling and dipping metaphors in terms that kids can understand and contexts they can relate to. Her message is straightforward and upbeat. It is in fact the source of whole behavior programs in schools around the country!
Fill and Be Filled
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? made a great gift for B’s teacher because it exemplifies the way she teaches and leads her life and also provided her a tool for sharing that attitude with future students. I found a printable bookplate to include, and we personalized the book by tracing B’s hand and including a photo. I designed my own card to accompany the gift, and I was so happy with it I’m going to keep a few printed and ready for acknowledging other bucket-fillers in my life – there are lots! I'm including a linke to download the card - it's a MS Publisher file. I am not yet saavy at converting to a PDF, but if you are and want to teach me, I'm happy to share it in any format that works for you!
Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades
Who fills your bucket? Have you done any bucket-filling today?