Culture of kindness

Here in the United States many of the school districts are getting ready for students to go back to school.  I have a week of teachers meetings.  My stuff is gone through and organized.  I bought pencils and pens.  Along with the regular preparations one of the Facebook blogs posted 49 things you can do to create a culture of kindness.  Most of these would work in the family and office, too.

  1. Acknowledge each student with a greeting as they enter your room. Let them see how happy you are to see them.

  2. Stop at the coffee shop on your way to school and surprise your teammates with their favorite beverage.

  3. If you jack up the copier, don’t leave it that way!

  4. Give your students five minutes to just visit with one another.

  5. Resist temptation to “borrow” the unlabeled Diet Coke in the staff refrigerator.

  6. Compliment another teacher’s class as they walk through the hall quietly.

  7. Slow down!

  8. Thank your administrators for setting a positive tone in the building.

  9. Keep eye rolling to a minimum during your professional development meeting.

  10. Leave anonymous chocolate kisses in the staff mailboxes.

  11. Eat lunch with your team and take a break from “work talk.”

  12. Make eye contact.

  13. Pick up your kids from Art a few minutes early and admire their work.

  14. Pick up your kids from PE a few minutes early and join in the game.

  15. Pick up your kids from Music a few minutes early and enjoy their performance.

  16. Share an awesome read-aloud with another teacher, better yet- lend them the book.

  17. Forward funny teacher cartoons to the staff.

  18. Laugh at your students’ jokes.

  19. Put up inspirational or humorous posters in the staff bathrooms.

  20. Compliment your students like crazy for their awesome ideas, incredible word choice, stupendous mathematical skills, etc, etc.

  21. Offer to take a stressed-out teacher’s after school duty.

  22. Email a “happy note” home to one of your more difficult student’s families.

  23. Have your students decorate and sign a thank you poster for the front office staff/cafeteria staff/custodial staff.

  24. Put up a mailbox for students to deposit “kindness reports” about their classmates.

  25. Replace the paper in the copier before it runs out.

  26. Tell your parent volunteers what lifesavers they are.

  27. Acknowledge publicly every kindness you witness in your classroom.

  28. Smile!

  29. Invite the guest teacher to join you for lunch.

  30. Post students’ work everywhere!

  31. Ask a veteran teacher to share their wisdom with you about something that’s been baffling you.

  32. Stay with your class during library time and help them pick out great books.

  33. Straighten up the mess someone else left in the teacher workroom.

  34. Compliment another teacher in front of his class.

  35. Repeat it one more time (yes, even if it’s the fifth time!).

  36. Listen to the librarian’s read-aloud and tell her what a great storyteller she is.

  37. Eat hot lunch every once in awhile and tell the cafeteria workers how delicious the food is.

  38. Take time to listen to your students’ stories.

  39. Help another teacher change his bulletin board.

  40. If a positive thought about someone crosses your mind, take the time to share it with them!

  41. Raffle off a free homework pass.

  42. Call a few parents after school just to tell them something wonderful their child did that day.

  43. Share a sweet moment from your day with a colleague.

  44. Give your grouchy voice the day off.

  45. Ask a newbie teacher for advice.

  46. Sit with someone different at the staff meeting.

  47. Make a big deal about extraordinary effort in class.

  48. Help another teacher carry a heavy load to their car.

  49. Ask your students questions about their time away from school.

What acts of kindness would you add to the list?

Many acts of kindness are absolutely free.  Some take only a matter of seconds or minutes.  Kindness is good for our souls both as the giver and a receiver.  Yes, an abuser sees kindness as a weakness to exploit.  That is where boundaries come in handy.  A kindness I offer to a stranger will not be the same kindness I offer my children.  I can decide what is enough.  Kindness to myself counts as kindness.  Kindness is simply service on a small scale.

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

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