Sunday, November 30, 2014

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?


Hello all, thank you for giving me a few minutes to share one of our favorite tools we use here at the MVSD. One of our amazing teachers at Edna Maguire was the first to share the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.

I was quickly reminded that it is the simple things in life that often carry the best and most meaningful messages for us. The “Bucket Books” simple precept is this; our words and actions have a profound positive or negative affect on those around us. The “Bucket Book” is direct and simple and gives us the basics on how to improve, infect and positively change the environments we operate in. This obviously supports our own individual development and well being too.

So… how does it work?

·    We all carry an invisible bucket (self concept)
·    Our buckets sole purpose is to hold our good thoughts and feelings about ourselves
·    Your bucket is filled with good thoughts and feelings when others do or say something kind to/for you.
·    Your good thoughts and feelings are minimized or emptied out of your bucket when people are unkind to you. Period.
·    Bucket Filler = Everyone feels better
·    Bucket Dipper = Everyone feels worse

Sound simple? It is. I have visited classes now for the last four years, kindergarten to fifth grade and they all love it! One great moment in the book is when we all learn that “when we fill someone’s bucket, you fill your own bucket too!” This is the point when I put my hands by my head and make a firework noise (whatever the heck that is) and flair the fingers out like bomb fragments… my brain just exploded with the profundity of that new reality… BOOM.

Wait, when we are kind, thoughtful and helpful to others we feel good too? Yes indeed! Or DUH, as my upperclassmen love to tell me lately. This is when story time starts. I share my own experience in bucket filling and how my bucket was filled with each act of kindness and selflessness big and small. I tell funny stories about my mom, things I’ve done and kind acts done for me. 

Now kids start in on their stories and experience. They’re hooked and they get it! It is so fun to see, we make assumptions that our kids should just automatically know all of this and do this already. Look at your adult friends… not always the best assumption to make. Think how much better we would all feel if we knew that all of our coworkers are mindfully caring for your bucket, life changer? Certainly.

Creating mindfulness and awareness around how we think, feel and interact with each other fosters better relationships and a safe canvas for every student’s social and emotional development. These class visits are a really rich time. I feel blessed and privileged each and every “Bucket Book” lesson. Sharing this with kids definitely fills my bucket.  

NOW, GO FILL BUCKETS! I’ll check in with you all next month with some bucket activities, “bucket slips” and a story or two.

Best to you all – “Mr. M”
Jason Mountsier


Kindness - The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.  As adults, we have come to understand the importance of being kind to others.  But how do you know if you are teaching your children these traits, or if you’re doing it right? 

Over the years, the Mill Valley school counselors have come across several articles about raising nice and moral children.  The three provided today are our favorites.  They each support the idea that children learn their morals and kindness from role models.  They listen not only with their ears but also with their eyes, watching what we do and how we behave. 

We wanted to share these two articles and blog as a resource that may support you in teaching your kids kind morals.  After all, multiples studies have shown that the act of being kind increases ones self esteem, ultimately increasing ones academic performance. Enjoy!

Best to all!