- World Kindness Day is November 13th. There are many ways you can bring kindness lessons into your classroom.
- Discussing what it looks like to be kind, random acts of kindness, and kindness cards are a few ideas you can incorporate.
Did you know that Saturday, November 13th is World Kindness Day? Since you likely have no school on a Saturday, you should commemorate this day the week before (Nov. 8-12) or the week after (Nov. 15-19). Incorporating kindness activities into your classroom also aligns well with U.S. Thanksgiving on Nov. 25 and gratitude activities many of you may be incorporating into your instruction.Starting a kindness challenge among grade levels or departments is a perfect idea to reset how people treat each other and start a new tradition. Click To Tweet
Ideas to Use in Your Classroom
I first led a staff professional development session on kindness and empathy in the fall of 2018. Many of these ideas come from Michele Borba, who wrote Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me-World. Check out her site for more information! During this particular PD, I was focusing on how to build positive culture and climate in the classroom. Here are tips you can teach kids and have acts of kindness become an integral part of the classroom:
- Encourage small acts of kindness to counteract bullying like sharing their lunch, saying hello, smiling.
- Expand kids’ comfort zone so they make friends outside their social sphere.
- Help kids identify their support and safety nets: “If you had a problem, who would you turn to?”
- Teach peacebuilding: “What would a peaceable home, class, school, or neighborhood where everyone gets along and helps each other look and sound like?”
- Hold class meetings to practice speaking out, respecting differences, decision making, and listening actively.
Do Random Acts of Kindness
While there are a plethora of online recourses available to commemorate World Kindness Day, I like the activities listed on the Random Acts of Kindness site. There are not only kindness quotes, videos, and stories you can share with your students, there are staff training materials, free lesson plans, and a new high school curriculum. If your school culture could use a “nudge,” starting a kindness challenge among grade levels or departments is a perfect idea to “reset” how people treat each other and start a new tradition, not just during the month of November. You can also apply through the site to become a RAKtavist, a group of educators who make their kindness mark on the world.[scroll down to keep reading]
Catching Kindness Cards
As the Out of the Trenches podcast host, I recently published an episode with Orly Wahba, a kindness expert who made the viral film Kindness Boomerang. Her mission is to inspire people to tap into the power of kindness, which she believes is the most underutilized skill in today’s world. When Orly taught middle school, she incorporated the use of “catching kindness” cards. The idea behind the cards is when you see someone engaging in an act of kindness, you give them a card. They then pass the card along when they are seeing someone else engaging in an act of kindness. It helps you train your eyes to catch random acts of kindness and to see the good in people. People’s awareness is increased when they get the kindness cards.
Share and Connect
These are just a few ideas to integrate kindness into your school or classroom. I hope you’ll make the whole month of November a month of pledging to use kindness! Tweet me what you’re doing and send pics to @danagoodier using the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay #TBBlogger.
About Dana Goodier
Dr. Dana Goodier has 20 years of experience in education. She has taught World Languages and English and worked as a middle school administrator. She completed her doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership early 2020. For her dissertation, she researched reasons parents were opting their students out of high-stakes testing at middle schools and how that affected the district accreditation rating. She often speaks at conferences, providing educators with techniques to minimize off-task behavior and to increase time on task. She is the host of the “Out of the Trenches” podcast, which features educators who share their stories of resiliency. Follow her on Twitter @danagoodier and visit her website at: www.danagoodier.com