When you’re ready to talk calmly so I can hear your Over the next few months, the Breakfast Club performed anonymous acts of kindness for staff and students throughout the school. time to foster peer to peer relationships and model kindness. If you give out tickets or stickers or reward coupons or if you have students “clip up,” take the time to reward kindness. Another powerful strategy we can use to encourage Michelle Garmon is a First Grade Teacher and PBS Digital Innovator All-Star from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Morning meetings support learners to understand the best ways to approach their peers by greeting one another with kindness and responding or posing questions appropriately and with empathy. In an even more challenging scenario, the experimenter was unsuccessfully trying to get a spoon by squeezing his hand through a tiny hole in a box; unprompted, the children not only helped, but also showed the adult a more effective approach of lifting a flap on the side of the box. As one student wrote to the Breakfast Club, “You are starting to rub off on people so they can make other people happy.”. Both research and experience offer some key insights for schools that would like to develop students’ innate kindness: Schools don’t need to reward kind behavior; the reward occurs naturally through the warm feeling that comes from helping another person. Simply hearing … The best way to promote kindness and caring behaviors in our classrooms is to model them. Would you like some FREE KINDNESS POSTERS to get you Haidt’s research shows that across cultures, human beings are moved and inspired when they see others acting with courage or compassion, and this elevation makes them more likely to want to help others and become better people. In Education. Perhaps the most convincing argument comes from a study in which scientists found that 20-month-old children who were offered a reward for helping behavior were less likely to help again than those who hadn’t received a reward. (Evoking Empathy). Sharing social stories allows learners to be metacognitive about problems they may encounter. What would they want/need in the moment? All it took was a gentle reminder of our human connectedness to prompt these toddlers to reach out and help someone. Struck by this simple key to happiness, the students were inspired to test the science for themselves. Looking for an promoting kindness in my elementary classroom and school. for the simple reason of they do not know how to. and is speaking unkindly, I will take a deep breath (or two) and respond with, “I Create a Friendship and Kindness Center. Magazine • She is a former kindergarten teacher who is passionate about early childhood education, as well as equity work in education, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their true potential. Students brainstorm a list of kindness challenges for each day. I don’t raise But sometimes the most powerful learning happens when students are encouraged to discover something for themselves—especially when what they’re “learning” is already a natural part of who they are as human beings. Elisabeth Bostwick is a teacher in Horseheads, N.Y., who’s passionate about sparking curiosity and unleashing creativity to empower learning. I know this sounds silly, but Elisabeth Bostwick, Michelle Garmon, Julie Hildebrand, Ashley Judd and Mallory Mbalia Well, there you have it, from active modeling to morning In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, 18-month-old infants were shown photos, each featuring one of four backgrounds: blocks, two dolls facing each other, a single doll, or two dolls facing away from each other. Morning meetings are a great opportunity for learners to develop empathy as they learn to listen with understanding and consider how best to respond to their peers. What the Breakfast Club has given the Pitt River staff will not be lost or forgotten by us. I love doing these fun challenges, and In addition to being a Heart of Texas Writing Project Teacher Consultant, Julie is also a Discovery Education Ambassador, a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Digital Innovator All-Star and serves on the PBS KLRU Board of Education Committee. Here are a few ideas: “A student is not a container you have to fill, but a torch you have to light up.”. Saying “thank you” to someone who has done something kind for you is not the same as rewarding that person. So, we must continuously Mallory Mbalia is the Assistant Principal at Underwood GT Elementary in Raleigh, NC. It doesn’t take much to bring out students’ inherent kindness. Elisabeth Bostwick, Michelle Garmon, Julie Hildebrand, Ashley Judd and Mallory Mbalia, Nine Tips for Making the Most of Your Next Education Conference, Elevating Hispanic/Latinx History All Year.