Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!

On Education


In continuation to my earlier post on Holistic education. I came across this poignant post and I heartfully share this wonderful initiative and reflections.


Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math. Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.

Author: Savvy Raj

Dance Educator, Writer, Artist, Designer, Wellness Mentor & Consultant

13 thoughts on “On Education

  1. So nice experiment,,Mrs teacher


  2. I tink a Nobel Peace Prize is in order…this is absolutely brilliant, and oh so, so important! Thank you for sharing…and God bless teachers who make such connections with children! *children singing**children dnacing**children embracing*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true Joan . This is a very inspirational practice indeed. Kudos to the teacher!
      In India traditionally the teacher or the guru is given utmost respect for the values inculcated and inspired by them. A teacher who upholds these values and transforms minds can make a huge positive difference to society.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teachers should be appreciated for the important work they do…sadly, here in the US I think they are viewed merely as managers, the whole educational system is more like a factory churning out a product…not valued, sensitive world citizens. We have so much to repair here…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes the damage needs to be undone and only a committed and empathy oriented teacher can help make a positive difference. We should deeply appreciate and stand by those who try their best .Thank you Joan for your supporting responses.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. And this constitutes holistic education! Highly admirable to share a connection!😍💙


  4. It is very good and smart, and at the same time very simple idea. Why not for all teachers?


  5. Spot on! The teacher was inspired. I was once a ‘dinner lady’ for ten years, but used to also help coach a few slower children with their reading. One lad was a bit of a tear-away(and didn’t change!) while another was very shy and quiet. Fast forward 25 years – I received an email, out of the blue…from the shy lad. He had gone on to University, earned a degree and won prizes to my huge surprise, and thanked me for “Your patience.” I was so thrilled for him, and imagined what it must feel like knowing you helped LOTS of children through such a thoughtful act. I think teachers should be honoured more than they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite agree. A good teacher becomes a guide to not only your success in career but leads and supports and inspires you on the right path to become who you are! We can consider ourselves lucky to find such a teacher guide or guru in life .


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