Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Peace On Earth Day!!!!

Since today is International Peace Day, I thought that it would be most fitting to share some of the artworks that the students of The Peacebus have created since the beginning of the school year.

It doesn’t bother me that some of the artworks have spelling mistakes or that some of the peace symbols aren’t drawn perfectly. What really matters is the thought and creativity that goes into all of these expressions.

I’m a really lucky guy! I think that the students who ride on my bus are the most friendly, kind and peaceful people I have ever met. And I mean all of them!!!

In the past, the older students used to sit only at the back of the bus while the younger students sat at the front. I was very surprised and delighted to see that there is a lot of mingling going on throughout the entire bus. I had nothing to do with this – it’s just the way they are… and I’m glad!

Some of the older students have younger brothers or sisters and they often times sit together. The older students will share stories and play silly games with the friends of their younger sibling, who are sitting nearby.

Sometimes a young student will have trouble finding a place to sit and there is always an older student nearby to offer assistance.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this type of behaviour before and I’m so glad that this is happening. Students of all ages working together is a very positive thing!

I got to work a little earlier than usual, on the first day of this school year, because I wanted to put up a few peace artworks so that my new students would be happy with the bus.

I greeted each student, as they boarded The Peacebus, in my usual silly way and by the time we arrived at the school I could see many smiling faces. I knew that this was going to be a great year!

Because I will soon be very busy with my wife and our newborn son (… and the countdown begins…) I knew that I would not have the time to work with my students on crazy and great art projects, as I have in the past. I decided to tame me down a bit, this year.

This fact has not stopped my students from – already – overwhelming me with their cheery inspiration! On the second day of school, in the morning, one young girl handed to me The Peacebus’ first artwork of the school year!!

That afternoon, two other students also presented me with their artful expressions! Day 2 and already three artworks for the bus!!!

By the end of the first week, fifteen artworks had been given to me to decorate the bus. I was in delighted shock! See what I mean when I say that I’m a really lucky guy?!

Last week, I asked the students if they knew why September 21st is one of my favourite days. The first few answers that were shouted out were, “It’s your birthday!” and “It’s your anniversary!”

I quickly told them that this day was not a special day because of something happening specifically in my life, “September 21st is a special day of celebration for ‘something’ that happens all the way around the world! It is a special Earth event.”

The students scratched their heads, thinking. I told them that they should ask their teachers and parents if they knew the answer. The next day, several of the students had the answer and soon everyone was talking about what they would do on International Peace Day!

This morning, I was blinded by the light at each of my bus stops. Almost all the students were wearing peace T-shirts, earrings, bracelets, shoes, handbags or hair-bands. I had a ‘Peace-Crew’ riding the bus! If the student didn’t have anything with a peace symbol on it, then they were wearing T-shirts with ‘Earth’ images on them – like trees, flowers, birds and animals!

I told the students that we could do other things to celebrate Peace On Earth Day and soon I was teaching them one of my favourite ‘repeat-after-me’ songs! We pulled into the schoolyard, singing very loudly and teachers and other students began to smile as our song filled the air!

HAPPY PEACE ON EARTH DAY, EVERYONE! May we be continuously inspired to realize that we can change the world, we can make a difference and we can build a future where we all work together to add a richness of colour to our planet that has never been seen before!

Mr. Jim

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