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Monday, November 11

How to Promote Kindness in School

How to Promote Kindness in School

Kind kids are the best kids! But what is kindness in schools and how to we promote it? How do we go about teaching kindness? With National Kindness Day fast approaching I thought I would share my top ways of promoting kindness in my elementary classroom and school.
Promote a culture of kindness in your classroom and school. Photo credit Photo Clipz

Teaching Kindness

Build relationships with students and encourage kindness.

Students may not be displaying kindness in school for the simple reason of they do not know how to. I know this sounds silly, but we know children come from all different sorts of home lives. It is our job as educators to give every child a common background in how to treat one another as human beings on this Earth. O.K. so how do I start teaching kindness in my classroom? Start with some games and activities! Morning meeting is a wonderful time to foster peer to peer relationships and model kindness. Looking for an easy activity to get started? Try this FREE kindness activity! This activity allows students to practice giving compliments to one another, Click HERE to check it out.


How to Promote Kindness In Your Classroom

Model, model, model! Children are constantly learning new information from the world around them. So, we must continuously be modeling the kind behaviors we wish to promote. This means using kind language and posting visual reminders. Is it difficult to always choose your words wisely? Um, heck yes! It is crucial we take a deep breath and model the language we want our students to use. For example, if a student’s becomes angry and is speaking unkindly, I will take a deep breath (or two) and respond with, “I know you are angry, but listen to the way I am speaking to you. I don’t raise my voice at you because I know it would make you upset. So, I am going to give you some space to breath. When you’re ready to talk calmly so I can hear your words, I would love to listen.” I am constantly reminding my students of this when they become upset. However, if you’re going to talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. This means when you tell a child you will not raise your voice at them, you have to actually stick to that. Active modeling kindness through your words and actions is the most powerful way we can demonstrate and teach kindness.

Another powerful strategy we can use to encourage kindness in schools is to make it visual. Hang pictures, post kindness bulletin boards. The more students see it, the more they will realize how valued it truly is! Make the word and the images of kindness present in your hallways and classrooms.

Kindness Challenges

Students love challenges! So, why not do kindness challenges in your school or classroom? I love doing these fun challenges, and my kiddos love seeing how many kind acts they can accomplish. It brings about a wonderful feeling in our classroom each time we tackle a new kindness challenge. My favorite kindness challenge is the one we do in the space between Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. It’s called the White Christmas Kindness Challenge and you can check it out HERE. Every year I cut up the list of kind acts and place them in a jar. Students will reach in and take out a task to complete. Once they complete a task they write it on the snowflake and we hang these snowflakes from the ceiling. The students love seeing the acts of kindness and “snowflakes” grow in our classroom.

Click HERE to check it out.

Well, there you have it, from active modeling to morning meeting activities; I hope I have provided you with some ways to promote kindness in your school this year!

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