Recently I was standing in a playground watching students play. A little boy of about 3 years came over and crawled into a much older boy’s large sports bag. The bell went and the students went to class. The little boy stayed in the bag and the older boy looked puzzled. He then smiled and carefully carried the little student while still in the bag to his classroom. All the way to the classroom you could hear the giggles coming from the bag. The older student chose to show a Random Act of Kindness and made that day special for a little boy who he hardly knew.
Some learners spend more of their time awake at school than they do in their own homes. It’s a big thing for parents to entrust their loved ones to others, often strangers. Especially as much of a child’s developing personality and morals can easily be influenced by those around them.
During the early years of my own children’s education, it concerned me that my hard work instilling values may be lost if they weren’t reinforced within the classroom. As an educator I am very pleased to see national curriculums are making values such as kindness an explicit part of the learning. Teachers are growing in awareness about the need to prioritize social and emotional learning at school. They realize the important role that kindness and empathy have in nurturing happiness and self-esteem.
“It’s no secret that kindness sparks kindness. The secret is that kindness takes wings when it is modeled and taught with passion and purpose. When we intentionally help and encourage our students to put kindness into action through their thoughts, words, and deeds, then the world will truly be a more peaceful place and we will be happier. Simply put, we’ll all be better.
Kindness in schools can:
- look like a smile,
- feel like a hug, or
- sound like a warm greeting
- or simply asking how are you?
After we have created that climate of kindness and caring inside our school, the next step is to take it home to our families, out into our community and then beyond our borders into our global world. It’s like a ripple that doesn’t end.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.”