Monday, 31 December 2012

Our Giving Tree

After reading, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein my fourth graders came up with a great idea.  They decided that they wanted to make a lower school giving tree.  Student Council Officers read this beautiful story to the entire lower school at an assembly.  They followed the story with a conversation about the importance of both giving and appreciating.  Students shared ideas about different ways we can give to others.  Our giving tree is a great way for students and staff to show their appreciation for these acts of kindness.  If someone goes above and beyond and does something kind for you, you can write or draw on a leaf to recognize them.  Leaves will be presented at each of our assemblies and students will be able to add them to our giving tree.  Our goal is to fill the tree with as many leaves as we can by the end of the year.

Student Council helped to create our giving tree by drawing pictures of ways to spread kindness.  Their pictures fit together to make our tree, which is now hanging outside of the lower school office.  It is very quickly filling up with leaves!  Students love to surprise others by writing a leaf to show their appreciation and the students that are being recognized couldn't be prouder to pick their special spot on the giving tree to place their leaf for all to see.  Parents and students are always stopping to admire the pictures and leaves on their way in and out of the lower school office.   Here is our giving tree at the very beginning.

This has been a great way to recognize and appreciate others.  Anyone can give a leaf and anyone can receive a leaf.  I love that the purpose of the giving tree connects to our lower school rules: Respect yourself, Respect others, Respect the environment.  I am so excited to watch the kindess spread as our giving tree grows with more and more leaves.  Stay tuned for more pictures...


  1. Hi Lauren, it's really nice to read your blog. I have just discovered the existence, or well hadn't really thought of the possibility of working as a school counsellor in an international school. I work with young people in a charity, and really love working with young people. I have also often been excited about the possibility of working in other countries, but had thought that it wouldn't be possible because I had to learn another language really well before I could begin. So it's fab to discover your blog. Were you a school counsellor before you applied to work in an international school?
    So great to read, thanks!

  2. Michelle,
    I am so glad that you have discovered the possibility of the best job in the world (in my opinion)!! Up until about 6 months before our BIG move, I too hadn't even thought about the possibility of it all. I knew very little about international schools, living in London, and living and working abroad. There are many international and American schools in a number of different countries and in many of those schools the language spoken and taught in is English!
    After I got my masters in school counseling we moved to RI and I worked as an elementary school counselor at a public school in CT. After one year my husband finished his masters program and we moved to NC where I worked as an elementary school counselor for two years. I was told that there might be budget cuts and my position might be cut and started thinking of other possibilities around January of 2011. After working with CIS, attending an international teacher recruitment fair in Chicago in February and after emails to many schools, I interviewed and was offered a position at my school! In the next five months we packed, got married, shipped our lives to London (including our two cats) and here I am almost two years later. Check out my blog post on how I got in the loop as it gives much more detail about the entire process:
    From my experience so far it seems like most international schools are looking to hire teachers and counsellors with at least 2 years experience. Hope this helps.. if you have more questions feel free to send me an email at
    Lauren :)