Take a Walk in Their Shoes

Recently, I talked to a bus driver who was telling me about his route and the students that ride his bus. He was very positive and not complaining, but he made me wonder, “Do we teach our students how to behave on the bus? Do we teach our students to think about what it is like to be a bus driver?” 

This time of year is a great time to talk about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. What is it like for the bus driver? What is it like for the custodian, for the principal, for the teacher, for a new student? I know of an elementary library that has boxed up various sizes and kinds of shoes with a brief description of the person who wears the shoes. Students then get into small groups with one of the boxes of shoes. They read the blurb about the owner of the shoes and discuss how they could show kindness and compassion to the owner. Then the groups take turns sharing to the class their ideas. What a great lesson for all of us!

Other ideas: Read aloud one of the books below and have a  discussion. Create a book display of books titled: “Walk In Someone Else’s Shoes”. 


  • Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  • Come With Me by Holly McGhee
  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
  • Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Christian Stead
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
  • I am Human by Susan Verde
  • I walk with Vanessa by Kerascoet
  • Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks
  • Wonder by R J Palacio
  • The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

These books are available in Sora! If you have other book ideas, please let us know in the comments!

About Christie Boen

I have worked with Bend-La Pine Schools since 2007. I am an Instructional Technology Coach and District Librarian.