Let me set the scene… we’re in the middle of a polar vortex here in the east; it’s snowing outside, and cold (at least by Washington, D.C. standards). I’m coming into work with my hands full, but still a good 50 feet (think a basketball court) away from the door. Another person who works at my building is just walking through the door and turns to see me coming, but I’m still quite far away. I wave them on, as to motion that there is no need to hold the door with me so far back, and especially in these conditions. The person motions back, as if to say no trouble and simply waits to hold the door for me. As I walked through the doorway, I felt better, not so cold, appreciated, and a sense of happiness spread throughout my body. Simple kindness. Which brings me to this quote:
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted”. – Aesop
Did you know that February 17th marks Random Acts of Kindness Day? There is a growing awareness and consciousness of the social and emotional needs and growth of our students. Instead of just one day, what if you practiced intentional kindness in the classroom more routinely? Read on for some resources that share ways to establish routines and practices in the classroom that facilitate the development of kindness and the reinforcement of connections with our students.
- Hop on your Twitter account and search the hashtags #RAKDay and #kindnessstartswithone . You’re bound to find some great ideas here!
- Check out the Random Acts of Kindness website (TeachersFirst review). Here you will find resources for educators, such as free lesson plans and training materials.
- Start a digital gratitude journal. Have your students start each day by writing several gratitudes. Set the guidelines and have students be specific and reflective with their ideas. Save them each day and by the end of the year your students could each have about 1,000 gratitudes—talk about powerful!
- Get students to post videos, images, audio or posts that exemplify kindness. You could use Padlet (TeachersFirst review), Lino (TeachersFirst review), or Flipgrid (TeachersFirst review) to do this.
- Have students create a podcast about ways to spread kindness and compassion. You could use a program like WeVideo (TeachersFirst review), Anchor (TeachersFirst review), or Online Voice Recorder (TeachersFirst review).
How do you throw kindness like confetti in your classroom or school? Leave a comment or connect with us on Twitter!