When 2017 rolled around, I set a goal to invest more time and energy into bringing more kindness to kids in the place where they spend the most time– school.
This is how the Kindness Project began.
Since that day, an extraordinary group or educators came together to share free resources, tips and inspiration to achieve this goal. In this post, you’ll find ALL of their freebies and key tips as well as an extra special kindness giveaway!
- FREE KINDNESS RESOURCES:
Kindness Packet from yours truly.
No Prep Bilingual Cooperation Puzzles (Consider Kindness) from Speech is Beautiful
2. BLOG POST TAKEAWAYS
“I say, the answer is to really see and hear each child. Kneeling to a child’s eye-level, giving your undivided attention, patience and time, thoughtfully answering questions, creating safe spaces, really listening, unconditionally loving. I believe these are the gifts we must always strive to give to children.”
“I’ve found that a feeling of independence and responsibility often go a long way in validating a child. This might mean that they are permitted to go into my closet to select an activity or that they can go into my file cabinet and locate their own file (have children choose the folder color and put a sticker on the name tab for identification and to maintain anonymity; you can add initials or a number for yourself). Students that I collect after PE or recess know they can go into my bathroom and get a cup of water (I keep a supply of paper cups in there) without having to ask me first.”
“All of those little chances to cooperate, share, and work together teach the value of kindness to kids from a very young age. I’ve always been a huge believer in early childhood education for so many reasons but that is one of the major reasons kids need preschool. In my opinion, social skills are at least as important as academic learning for kids.”
- The way we greet fellow teachers and staff in the hallway
- The way we respond to a student when he doesn’t understand
- Our compliments to the little girl who sometimes smells
- Our nonverbal language to the teacher who ruined our schedule for the day
- The smile we give as we once again, explain a concept for the 15th time
We never know what goes on at home for our students. Some don’t see kindness modeled very often. Because of this, we could be their only model. We need to be ready to teach them with our words AND our actions.”
“Reflecting back on my nine years in an urban sixth grade classroom however, I find that what has always had the biggest impact on my students, is when I allow them to learn about an issue that is bigger than themselves, and more importantly, to do something about it! When kindness is put into action, caring communities are created.“
“While my school day is jam-packed, I do have prep time during recess and after the last period. Trust me, I really need this time to get paperwork done and prep lessons. Two or three times a week I have an open-door policy, and students are allowed to pop in and chat. My open-door time has given students an opportunity to vent, discuss problems or just catch up. Although I am giving up time, I know it means the world to some students to have an adult that will listen when they need it.”
“When we practice the skill of empathy that we so often teach, we begin to see things in a very different light. We see the innocence of the child sitting in front of us, rather than a checklist of modalities to meet a specific goal. We realize that they might be treated differently by their peers or might not have the voice to articulate their feelings in the way that others can. It can be a lonely world out there when you feel like that.”
“If we demonstrate our belief in our young people and encourage them to take action toward their dreams, they will believe in themselves and do miraculous things because of that belief. It can help them persevere through odds and failures because belief is beyond any one goal or dream; it is about developing imagination, confidence, space to try new things, and an unwavering commitment to growth, improvement, and the continuous pursuit of something greater beyond ourselves.”
“When kids arrive to my classroom, it is my hope that they feel a sense of peace, comfort and safety regardless of where they’re coming from. I work at a school with students who have high needs. School may be one of the only places they feel safe and since I’m in control of the four walls of my classroom it is my job to do all that I can to ensure it’s a comfortable place.“
“Watch for the kids who linger and want to spend extra time with you. You know the ones who pop into your room on the way to recess. It’s okay to stop writing your IEP or Medicaid billing or report and give them a couple extra minutes of your time. You’ll be glad you did.”
“My school has a high population of families that speak Spanish as their primary language. When designing my door, it was important to me that my students and families know that they are welcome and that I value their input. I also wanted my little friends that were minimally verbal or just learning to read know that their voice matters as well. It may sound menial. After all it is just a door, right? However, that first impression, that simple touch of kindness, helps set the stage for collaboration with my families and students. We are a team and within that team every player is valued.”
To peruse all of the posts, visit Kindness Project Series here.
To hear my personal stories about the Kindness Project, tune into this short yet inspiring Kindness Project Podcast with The Speech Space!
This beautiful wooden sign (from Caszkins Creations on Etsy) reveals a hand-painted and personalized message to every child that walks into your room. This is the perfect way to cultivate a kind, nurturing and accepting environment in your room!
Entering is EASY. Simply comment below with one thing that inspires you about the Kindness Project or one act of kindness you pledge to use with your own students this year.
A winner will be selected at random on Tuesday, October 3rd at 11 AM EST! But wait…one more thing.
I’d like to close this series with a big thank you to all of the incredible educators who participated and shared their own ideas and inspiration. I also want to thank YOU for all you do each and every day to make children happier and more successful individuals.
For even more Kindness Project inspiration, search the hashtag #kind2kids on social media!