The best way to promote kindness in our classrooms is to model it for our students. When children see what it looks like and hear what it sounds like, they are much more likely to be able to be kind themselves. We often pay attention to community building and being kind to each other at the beginning of the year and forget, as there are more constraints on our time, that promoting a culture of kindness is a continual practice. Here are some ways to keep kindness alive:
- Read ‘How Full is Your Bucket’ to your students. Have students think of ways they can be bucket-fillers, or do a daily/weekly check by asking, “How full is your bucket today?” or, “Whose bucket did you help fill today?”
- Start a random acts of kindness project in your classroom or suggest that the whole school, staff included, be involved.
- Encourage your class to be RAKtavists (random acts of kindness activists). Sign up to do the monthly random acts of kindness challenges as a class. Check out https://www.randomactsofkindness.org for more ideas.
- Starting class meetings with compliments and appreciations. They help grow both kindness and a sense of community.
- Have a kindness write around. Prepare a handout with sentence stems: I like you because______; I can count on you when ________; Some adjectives that describe you are _____; One idea I’ve gotten from you is _________). Give one to each student and have them put just their name at the top. Collect the papers and randomly pass them out again, making sure each student gets someone else’s. Students complete as many stems as they want, and then pass to someone else. When the page is full, have the students turn them in. Pass them out at the end of the day. Leave some time for reflection and sharing.
NOTE: World Kindness Day this year is November 3rd.