Teacher takes 10 minutes every day to teach students beautiful lesson

Photo Courtesy of Chris Ulmer, Special Books By Special Kids

FLORIDA -- Every morning, students in Chris Ulmer's Florida classroom kick start their day learning something beautiful.

That's because every day, Ulmer spends 10 minutes complimenting each and every one of the students in his special education class at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville.

"I love having you in my class. I think you're very funny. You're a great soccer player. Everyone in here loves you," Ulmer said to one his students in a video posted to his Facebook page.

In an interview with ABC News, Ulmer explained the idea evolved from daily themes -- "Monday Funday" and "Toast Tuesday."

He says he noticed his students were always more motivated and happy on Tuesday because they had gotten into the routine of starting the day with kindness.

Ulmer's students diagnoses include autism, traumatic brain injuries, speech apraxia and agenesis of corpus callosum.

The students have been in his class for three years, their bonds growing tighter every day. They are now like family, according to Ulmer.

Students teaching philosophy has helped the students to grow emotionally and academically.

In one post, Ulmer congratulates a student of his on spelling and grammar, explaining 2 years ago the student struggled to write and spell at a kindergarten level.

In another, the teacher plays guitar while his student reads the lyrics to Queen's "We Are The Champions." Just 2 years ago, the student was not able to read and was labeled borderline intellectual functioning.

Ulmer sticks with his students through thick and thin, teaching them how to overcome their struggles and still see the world for what it is.

He helps them to persevere through their failures and keep moving forward, lessons he says he learned first hand.

His page, Special Books by Special Kids, started because he was trying to get a book he wrote on teaching special needs children published.

"I have 50 rejection letters on my fridge to keep me motivated," he told ABC News.

You can learn more about his book and projects here:

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off