Capturing Kindness in the Classroom
As teachers, our classrooms become a home from home and the culture we create within it can have a huge impact on our own mental well being and that of the pupils we serve. Whilst we have spent much of this week talking about how we put a stop to bullying, we have stopped to think about how rather than preventing bullying we could instead promote kindness.
Reward: To embed kindness in the culture of your classroom, its important that you reward kindness as well as recognise it. Ultimately, kindness should create kindness and you can reward children that are kind with your own acts of kindness, stickers, privileges or other treats. Ensure you record and celebrate even the smallest acts of kindness that occur in your classroom.
Suggestions: It is important to recognise that some children may not have experienced kindness or seen it in their own homes. Some children will be used to seeing anger and hostility rather than kindness and care so these children may need ideas and inspiration for being kind. Help children know how they can be kind with a kindness suggestion box and by discussing, sharing and demonstrating acts of kindness.
Requests: It can be incredibly challenging to be vulnerable and ask others for a demonstration of kindness but it is something we should encourage the pupils we serve to do. In a classroom setting, children who are feeling anxious, down or otherwise in need, should be able to ask you as their teacher and their peers, to be kind, to help, to care and to show compassion. You can introduce this to your classroom by simply asking, 'does anyone need some kindness today?' to your class on a regular basis.
If you want to explore the culture of your classroom in more detail, please download our free mental health toolkit here.