Written by Stephanie Shantz, Media Coordinator, Ever Active Schools
NOVEMBER 13TH IS WORLD KINDNESS DAY!
According to the International Institute for Education Planning, developing positive social environments within schools is key to effective teaching and learning. Overall social and emotional well-being of students, staff-student relationships, student motivation, staff morale and education outcomes are all influenced by the school environment.
Teaching kindness in the classroom helps students cultivate compassion and empathy for others and develop safe, caring and respectful school communities where students and staff thrive.
The Random Acts of Kindness website includes inspiration, ideas and resources you can use to teach and foster kindness in students throughout the year. Here’s a few of our favourites:
Kindness starts with how we treat ourselves. Encourage your students to commit to at least one action a day that benefits their bodies and minds. Some ideas are listening to music, taking a walk with a friend, getting more sleep or making healthier eating choices. Making self-care a priority promotes well-being and helps students be at their best when it’s time to learn at school.
As an educator you can make a big difference by role modelling self-care for your students, so be sure to also make this commitment to yourself!
WRITE GRATITUDE LETTERS
Ask students to think of someone within the school community who’s making a difference but doesn’t get a lot of recognition for their work. It might be a bus driver, school support staff member, coach or even another student. Have each student write a gratitude letter to say thank you and let the person know how much they appreciate them.
SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE
Charitable activities are a great way to help students deepen their empathy and compassion for the circumstances of others. Know a local organization that could use some support? Organize a bake sale fundraiser, or plan a food or clothing drive to collect money and goods for those who need them the most.
POSITIVE STICKY NOTES
This is a fun and easy activity to brighten the mood of your entire school community! Provide each student with a few brightly coloured sticky notes that they can write positive messages on and post them around the school.
CLASS CLEAN UP
Spend 15 minutes making an extra effort to tidy your classroom or picking up litter in the school yard. This encourages students to take pride in their physical learning environment and show appreciation for the custodians who keep the school clean.
Leave a comment below and tell us how you foster kindness in the classroom!