Many of you have yet to see what Chloe Ann Parker looks like. Mrs. Taylor's first grade class asked Mrs. Mowery to share her picture with you at the beginning of today's story post.
Momma sat on the side of my bed. "Time to lay back and get some sleep for school tomorrow."
"Momma, I'm really sorry about having my name moved down the other day. You know, Mrs. Taylor has been teaching us about being bucket fillers instead of bucket dippers. I really want to be a bucket filler. Really I do."
"Wow, I really like that Mrs. Taylor has taught you that. And what a good way to illustrate it." She patted my hand. "She's right. We should all try to fill others' buckets with kindness and encouragement. No one likes someone dipping into their bucket with meanness or just a lack of regard for another."
"I'm gonna try real hard at school tomorrow to look for ways to be a bucket filler. Of course, Mrs. Taylor said we shouldn't expect to be rewarded all the time by moving our names up for doing good things. We should just want to do them anyway."
Momma nodded. "I totally agree." She kissed my forehead, tucked me in, and listened to my prayer.
I walked into my first grade room the next morning. "Good morning, Mrs. Taylor. I'm gonna try to be a bucket filler today."
Mrs. Taylor smiled. "Well that sounds like a great plan."
We jumped right into our work, using our crayons. I concentrated really hard on my work, trying to not talk when I wasn't supposed to.
Mrs. Taylor stood up at her desk. "Please put away your crayon boxes, so we can move on to our next subject."
I dropped all of my crayons into my box and closed the lid tightly. Putting them back in their storage place, I started toward my seat. Suddenly there was a loud crash. I whipped around. Emalie's face was all sad and a little pink. She knelt down and began collecting her crayons which had scattered across the floor.
I hurried over and bent down. "Here, Emalie, let me help you."
Emalie sighed. "Thanks. How embarrassing."
I patted her shoulder. "Don't feel embarrassed. Dropping your crayons could happen to anybody."
A sweet smile returned to Emalie's face. That made me feel kinda warm inside, in a good way.
When Emalie returned from putting away her crayon box, she stopped by my table. "Thanks again for helping me. You're a real friend - a bucket filler." She hurried on to her table and sat down.
Wow, did I just make a new friend? I think I'm gonna like filling buckets.
Later, Mrs. Taylor said, "Class, we have worked really hard today on all of our work. Let's go out for some recess."
After we all filed outside, Emalie found me, and we ran to the swings. We were having fun swinging really high and giggling.
Was that a yell for help? I slowed my swing and looked around. Brayden sat at the other end of the swingset in the mulch, staring at his hand. Was he hurt? No one else was around. I dragged my feet to stop and sprinted over to Brayden. I squatted next to him. "Are you okay?"
He looked up at me with his face all scrunched. "When I fell down, I slid. I think I may have a splinter, and it's bleeding a little bit."
"Here, let me see."
He reached his hand out and I studied it. He had some scrapes, and blood was running down his hand. I spotted a little piece of wood sticking out of the center of his palm. Brayden was sure being brave not crying.
"You better let Mrs. Taylor see this. You need to make sure to wash it off. My momma says when you cut yourself enough to have blood, you gotta get it washed off to stop any 'fection." I stood up and offered my hand. "Give me your other hand. I'll help you up."
I led him to Mrs. Taylor, and she immediately inspected it. "Brayden, let's go clean this up."
As he walked away with the teacher, he turned back around. "Hey, Chloe, thanks for checking on me and helping me."
"You're welcome. I hope your hand feels better."
I jogged back over to swing some more with Emalie. In just a few minutes it was time to line up and return to class.
As we were all collecting our things for going home, Mrs. Taylor got our attention. "Friends, I think we've had a real champion bucket filler today. Chloe, you have been very helpful to your friends, so I am going to move your name up."
I was so happy I thought I might cry, especially when everyone looked at me and smiled.
Being a bucket filler took hard focus, but it was worth it if I could make friends with everyone and help make them happy.
I think Mrs. Taylor is very smart to have taught me about this bucket stuff. And I think I'm loving being in first grade after all.
I wonder if there's such a thing as a professional bucket filler?
Mrs. Taylor taught her class about being a bucket filler and not a bucket dipper. What do you think she means?
To be a bucket filler, Chloe had to decide to try hard to focus on doing the right things and helping others. What kinds of things could you do or say to friends and teachers that would be filling their buckets?
Why did being a bucket filler help Chloe make friends?
Chloe even feels she will love first grade now. She changed her attitude to be more positive. Here's a familiar quote: Your attitude determines your altitude. What do you think that means?