This week, I was blown away with the amount of kindness, positivity and love my students embodied.
I often talk to my students about the importance of being kind to others in hopes of trying to mold them into good people. I do my best to open their eyes to difference and how to appreciate it in others. I try and build empathy in them to understand that everyone has different struggles and they may not always look the same as yours. BUT most importantly, I try and prove to them that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and that will look different in everyone.
This week, it was even more important to point those things out to my students.
As random acts of kindness week was among them, I challenged them to reconnect with empathy towards others, acceptance, and how they showed leadership and kindness to one another. There were so many school wide initiatives that my students participated in that promoted kindness and anti- bullying.
- Pink Shirt Day: a nation wide initiative that stands up to bullies and get students to wear pink in solidarity with those trying to combat bullies.
- A pledge kindness wall: our school’s foyer was decorated with paper that required students to pledge kindness by signing their name along with a hand print and give someone an awesome shout out.
- Kindness Family Feud: the student council as our school put on a school wide family feud where questions regarding how someone could show kindness were incorporated.
This included: how can you be kind to others, how can you show kindness to yourself, how can you show kindness in your community (just to name a few). There was a students team and a teachers team and this friendly competition really got all the students engaged and thinking about how they could show kindness.
I was lucky enough to be on the teachers team, and the awesome costumes really showed our team spirit!
Some of my favorite things that happened this week were in the walls of my classroom.
At the beginning of the week I challenged my students to do 2 things that would promote kindness, love and positivity. They did not have to do either activity, they could do one, or both but I encouraged them to at least try one.
The two they could choose from was either to:
a) They had to take a sticky note and write one thing that they were going to do this week for kindness. This was a pledge to themselves that they could keep safe on the back of their phones, in their binders, in their lockers or any place that would remind them. AND I did not have to see it, so it was only a pledge to themselves.
b) Write a card to a teacher, or person in their life that has made an impactful difference and write them a heart felt message.
I was so blown away with what my students came up with and how EVERYONE at least chose one of the two options to do. It made my heart sing with joy that they wanted to embody the ‘kindness’ spirit.
Throughout the week, I was even more honored that many students in my class and in other classes chose to write heartfelt messages to me. I felt so blessed and honored that they felt the desire to let me know that they appreciated me and it truly filled my bucket with joy.
My random act of kindness was to give back to my students.
I don’t think often enough that they are thanked and told how wonderful they all are and how much I appreciate every one of them. I decided to take my own advice and write each of them a personal heart felt message of why I thought they were so wonderful. Along with the little note was a ring pop, because they truly are my little gems (corny but awesome… I think;)
This act reminded me how important it is to create those extra little experiences for our students and how those small gestures go a long way. I think that it proved to my students how much I really care, and although I hope that how much I value them is in the level of lessons I plan and deliver to them, it is the extra little bit that truly makes is special.
If you have not done a little something for your students lately, I challenge you to do something this week. It doesn’t have to be large, but reminding them how special they are is truly important in the process of relationship building.
I hope you received a random act of awesome this week.
Mental health is such an important element of what happens everyday, and although we embed it in everything we do, having a week dedicated to its importance is crucial.