Falafel Kindness Stories
A student of mine recently surprised me with his kindness. On our recent late-start morning, he entered class with a big cooler over his shoulder and said he had snacks for the whole class. (On late-start days, my kids eat their snack at their desk around 10 AM, since there’s no recess break on those days) So at 10, he circled the room, passing out a bag of homemade gluten-free chocolate/peanut-butter trail mix to everyone (so I could have it too), and clementines (so our peanut allergy kids could have that), and bottles of water. When I mentioned it to his mom later, she said the entire thing from start to finish was her son’s idea. 😊
A local school near me has a designated bench at recess that a child can sit on if they are feeling left out. The other kids are told to include anyone they see sitting on the bench.
I love your two previous books and look forward to reading “it ain’t awful Falafel”. I buy local bus tickets for a homeless man, Timothy. I bring him home made cookies at Christmas.
I am a teacher in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program; so day-in and day-out, I teach the students who are victims of bullying. (Though let it not go unsaid that they, too, frequent the halls of the Bully-Hall-of Fame.) I teach my students to have confidence, to be proud of themselves, never to give up, and to keep reaching for new heights. While I’m busy teaching them about English Language Arts and Reading, I squeeze in as often as I can, teaching them that there is no such thing as an “innocent bystander”. Rather, if they see bullying as it is happening, they must intercede. Demonstrate kindness and friendliness to the victim. Be a friend. Since bullies are seeking an audience, deflate their agendas by redirecting their momentum.
When you stay in a place for too long you never want to let go. For me, since the day I came to the world, for nine years I lived in an apartment building. There I met a lot of kind people who eventually became my very close friends. A few years later coming from school and my parents are so happy and say we are moving. That was when the torture came; saying goodbye and coming to a new place, what is happening to me! From there I went to a new school and let me tell you it is not fun. no friends,new teachers, no one to talk to… eventually someone decided to be my friend, which turned out to be a bully that wanted boss me around and basically brainwash me. that did not turn out well…so we broke up, since then no one wanted to be my friend… two years straight I would sit alone eat my lunch and walk around for recess. Then, I met these four sweet and gentles girls with really gentle souls who really wanted to be my friends. I had nothing else than to except this friendship, that was when I read the book ¨It aint so Falafel¨. I read Zomorods story and somehow could clearly relate it to my own personal life, and that was the very moment when I found out about the Falafel kindness story. It was just awesome seeing someone taking a huge stand on bullying. That is why I think that no kid should eat lunch, play alone at recess, or be friendless, this can only happen if WE as in the WORLD takes a huge step. This is my Falafel kindness story, it is time for you to share yours! P.S- Firoozeh Dumas I really like how your title and covers relates to your story and how you can easily relate it to your life! BRAVO!
As an elementary school teacher in the late 60’s and 70’s and continuing to community college instructor later, I would keep my eye open for the shy, loner student because that was me. I became a teacher so I could “right” the “wrongs” I had experienced. Once I spotted such student, I made an effort to find a “specialty” of him/hers…something the student was very good at in elementary…spelling, penmanship, math or to discover a hobby, interest or pasttime such as collecting pebbles of various colors, sizes, etc. In post high school English class, students could write poetry, debate, share experiences in the military even befriend a local author. Everyone is special and should be made to feel special. Let’s not lose sight of this as educators.