On an early morning school climate team meeting, a group of ten educators crowd around a conference table sipping coffee and crafting a plan. They are discussing a kick-off event for their new character education initiative with the theme “kindness counts.” A buzz of excited chatter ensues as staff discuss various ideas for recognizing students for kind behavior. Then, a teacher raises a concern, “Will students like the idea of being recognized during morning announcements? Perhaps they would prefer to receive a certificate and applause at our monthly assembly?” Another teacher chimes in, “Shy kids might not like that kind of attention. What about giving out kindness wristbands?” The discussion around recognition continues another 10 minutes until the meeting adjourns. As a next step, the Principal requests that team members do some online research about kindness campaigns.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." ~Aesop
Kindness is a wonderful thing! A quick look in the dictionary reveals that to be kind means to be: thoughtful, friendly, considerate, warm, helpful and caring towards others. Who among us wouldn’t wish for a bit more of that?
Join the Kindness Revolution
Most educators highly value kindness in themselves and in their students. Being kind feels good, creates more positive bonds between students (and educators), and boosts learning. It may even have beneficial health effects like better sleep and reduced stress levels. This is why programs like Random Acts of Kindness have taken off like wildfire! In the forthcoming book, Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School, my co-author and I describe the story of a teacher named Kiren Chanda. Her 8th grade students came up with the idea of a Random Acts of Kindness campaign in their classroom. The campaign quickly spread to other classrooms, and eventually, the entire school. The students’ simple acts of kindness, such as holding doors open for one another, giving each other compliments, writing thank-you notes, offering to assist with tasks like cleaning up, and simply offering smiles, created a ripple effect that made a positive and lasting impact on the school climate.