22 years of teaching, and budding teacher Karen Loewe still manages to find an activity that greatly impacts her students.
According to a Facebook post, Karen tried “The Baggage Activity” with her students. Innocently, the children shared that baggage was about carrying something heavy on one’s shoulders.
Instead, Karen told the students to write on things that bothered them.
I asked them to write down on a piece of paper what was bothering them, what was heavy on their heart, what was hurting them, etc.
Later, they cast it away across the room. This followed with the students taking turns to read each others’ papers – their baggage.
The children were allowed to disclose who they were and elaborate if they wish.
The students were extremely willing to open up on touchy subjects and share about their lives.
Things like suicide, parents in prison, drugs in their family, being left by their parents, death, cancer, losing pets (one said their gerbil died cause it was fat, we giggled😁) and on and on.
Even students reading out from the papers cried due to the tough nature of the baggage their other classmates carried.
Going beyond the curriculum, Karen showed great love for her students through the activity.
It was an emotionally draining day, but I firmly believe my kids will judge a little less, love a little more, and forgive a little faster.
Karen continues leaving the bag of baggage by the door, to remind her students that everyone had their own form of baggage.
As they left I told them, they are not alone, they are loved, and we have each other’s back.
Whilst a simple activity, Karen’s activity gives all students a chance to hear of the struggles of their other classmates, giving them the opportunity to emphatise with one another.
The activity of writing down what they most struggled with allowed them the students to bare all and come as they were.