Teaching students kindness may feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to. Here are some ways to easily incorporate and promote kindness in the classroom on a regular basis.
The Appreciation Box
The Appreciation Box is a great way to engage students who may get stage fright speaking in front of the class. Create a box and place it somewhere in your classroom next to some slips of paper or sticky notes. Both the teacher and the students can anonymously write notes of appreciation about anyone else in the classroom; every few days read them aloud to the class.
At first you may have to subtly populate the Appreciation Box yourself. As time goes on however and with your encouragement, students should feel less pressure around the activity. With their increased engagement you’ll not only have a more connected classroom, but create a feel-good addition to everyone’s day.
This activity is simple enough, but can be invaluable for a teacher to monitor the emotions and happenings of her classroom. At the beginning of class, start off the day with the question: “How are you feeling today?”
Students can share with one another, speak to the entire class, or write their thoughts down in a private journal. This activity helps students expand their emotional vocabulary while also ensuring them that speaking about their feelings or, at the very least, doing a check-in with their own self is a healthy habit to develop.
Become the Kind Classroom
Make your class known for their kindness to others. Regularly throughout the year, get your class to secretly plan something nice for others in your school. This can be delivering baked goods to the carpentry class, or sitting in on a band rehearsal and giving them a standing ovation.
Doing these things as a collective will give your students a sense of pride in their good deeds. They will not only feel proud of themselves and their class as a whole for their kind acts, but will likely want to replicate this feeling in their personal lives.
Not only do the activities above promote kindness to your students, but you may also be surprised in how they make you feel at the end of each day.
Have activities of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!