Chris Ulmer — or Mr. Chris, as his students call him — is a special education teacher at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. He’s a mom’s dream: young, cute, eager and takes great pride in his job. For months Mr. Chris has been sharing videos on his Facebook page, hoping to “spread empathy, understanding and awareness for children with a variety of special needs.” But a recent video, that shows what goes on in his classroom on any given day, has everyone’s attention.
Because it’s not just, well, EVERYTHING Mr. Chris does throughout any given day; rather, it’s how he kicks off every morning. He spends 10 minutes serving up awesome compliments to his students and giving them high-fives.
He writes that he’s “seen their confidence and self-worth skyrocket.” Ulmer adds that his students now frequently praise one another and “actively work to help each other.”
Amazing, right? And so, so simple. All it takes Mr. Chris is 10 minutes and it sets the tone. And not only that but it teaches kids to accept compliments gracefully, something many of us — yes, we’re looking at you, grown-up humans — don’t know how to do.
Mr. Chris also does music therapy with the students and his students, who were once outcasts, now participate in school activities.
“Hate is a learned behaviour,” he wrote. “Love is natural.”
Aside from being every student’s — and parent’s — dream leader, Ulmer is also working on his pet project: Special Books by Special Kids, a program that will allow his students to publish their stories in a book, which you can help make happen. It sounds as amazing as he is.
If every other teacher were like him, the world would truly be a better place.