Filling Buckets

WRITE. Every day in March write a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE. Link your post in the comments on each daily call for slice of life stories here at TWT. GIVE. Comment on at least three other slice of life stories/blogs.

This is Day 29 of 31 of the Slice of Life Writing Challenge by

Have you heard about the idea of filling someone’s bucket with words that build up?  The opposite of this idea is tearing down people with our words.  Stress levels are high as high stakes testing season is upon us.  Complaining about Common Core State Standards and other state testing can develop an atmosphere of negativity.  We have to work within the parameters that are given to us and earn our paychecks.  As a result, I prefer to discuss challenges about testing while also celebrating the good that is coming from teaching using Common Core State Standards.

I am hoping to find ways to encourage my coworkers during April and May to help them as they are giving all they’ve got and pouring into the lives of students.  I also like to give students opportunities to fill each others’ buckets with friendly words.  Some teachers have buckets with kids’ names on them so that other children can leave messages in their boxes.  My principal encourages the staff to write encouraging notes on printed Eagle Feather sheets and give to each other.  My school’s mascot is an eagle so the Eagle Feather sheets are posted all around the desks of teachers.  People really appreciate a pat on the back and acknowledgement of something that they have done.  I have put a link here to a Pinterest Board with great Bucket Filling Ideas:

I love the idea of filling someone’s bucket or their mental space with positive messages.  There are two books that I have used to get students to realize that they can either fill another person’s bucket or take away from their bucket.  I have included pictures of them in this post.



When I entered a classroom today to do my technology lesson, I saw that the teacher had given students little felt flags to place on their pencils to remind them of a job well done.   This teacher filled the mental buckets of her students in a unique way.  The student was so proud to share the flag with me on his pencil.  I love it when teachers honor students with their words or with small gifts of appreciation such as the little flag like the one below.


I have spoken about the power of positive words in my post.  I know that I am always honored when others say something nice to me or about me.  I get to park in a VIP parking spot next week because my principal shared my special honor that I blogged about on March 22, 2014 with the staff today in his weekly school newsletter.  This is what he wrote:

VIP Parking

  • Congratulations to Lisa Maples on being selected a 2014 PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator. She is one of 100 educators across the country that will take part in the virtual trainings where she will learn about innovative instructional strategies, digital technology/media best practices, and tools/resources that can be immediately applied to the classroom. What a great honor!

My principal filled my bucket and made my day especially after I have been out of my Computer Lab for two weeks on a cart.  Today was the last day of going from room to room on my iPad cart.  I am excited about teaching in my own space next week!  Bucket Filling fuels my energy.  What are ways that you have had your bucket filled or filled your students’ buckets?


2 thoughts on “Filling Buckets

  1. We had a school-wide month of bucket-filling in February. We are, of course, encouraged to continue it throughout the year, but it was a focus for the whole school. It is also mentioned on our morning announcements.

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