In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori. I have seen a precious few workshop facilitators who teach adults these concepts exhibit the ability to do so.
By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates. Kanamori believes that the opposite is true. He reads his story of her passing and cremation.
This documentary called Children Full of Life explains a class assignment in which each day, three of the children share the feelings expressed in their daily notebook writings. Kanamori's goal for his class is for them to be happy, and he believes that happiness comes from sharing with and listening to others.
Remarkably, he held space for the entire class to feel. We're too fearful of eliciting such raw emotion in our kids, even though kids feel loss deeply and don't always have the words to express themselves.
Kanamori created an environment in which she was able to free herself.
How do we teach our children to be happy? He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.
From the Top Documentary Films site: Mr. He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class.
Imagine the ripple effect that this will have in their lives and that of those with whom they relate.