Kind #5Days5Words

Posted: 13th August 2018 by kkeerybi in Uncategorized

I need to get back to blogging, but didn’t want to set too lofty a goal.  So I gave myself a challenge:  blog every day for my last 5 internet-friendly days of summer vacation about 5 little words I have been reflecting on this recharging summer.  Here’s word number five.

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” -Henry James

When I first came to my current K to 5 school, I wanted to set a structure to best support students and staff without making things too complicated.  I held an assembly the first week of school and let them know that there are four “big be’s” that we would work on:  Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe and Be Kind.  If you think about the minutia of rules in a school (or anywhere for that matter), pretty much all of them would fall into one or more of these categories.  Pretty much every student since then who has had to problem solve with me through an issue has had a conversation about whether their choice/action was one of these.  And if the answer was no, then our conversation is about how to turn things around.

While I think it is very important to teach students to be responsible, respectful and safe, the one that probably holds the most impact with me is kindness.  In my opinion, it may be the most important thing we teach any child.

Just look around our world, read comments/posts on social media, or watch the news and see how decisions made by people without kindness have impacted our world negatively.  Or consider how actions of kindness can have long-lasting, positive impact on people.

But how do you teach students to be kind?  At school, we talk about what kindness looks like and doesn’t look like.  We talk about people in the world – including young children – who have acted with kindness and how that has created ripples of effect.  We catch students in acts of kindness and celebrate.  We help students reflect on unkind acts and strategize about how to make them kind ones.  We acknowledge the fierce feelings that can contribute to unkind acts and suggest more appropriate ways to deal with these.  We read books about kindness.  We model acting kindly.  But is it enough?

I’ve written these five posts this week about topics I’ve been mulling this summer.  This topic is the one that I’ve thought about the most because I don’t know where to go next.  How else can we possibly teach students to be kind?

I don’t know the answer.  I’m off now for ten days in sun and sand.  I’ll keep thinking through that, and into the new school year I will try to find new opportunities to make an impact on the children in my care.  I truly believe each one will have the opportunity to change our world in their lifetime.  I hope their impact will be kind.

 

 

  1. adunsige says:

    What a great and important word, Kristi! I love the positivity that comes from kindness. I wonder if reaching out beyond the school to do some student-iniated fundraisers or community events might help with this. Will this get kids to see the impact of kindness? Now you have me wondering more too …

    Aviva