Bullying is often a hot topic among parents and teachers. It has been for as long as I can remember and sadly, not a lot has changed. But, I feel we are starting to make some headway with educators now using social and emotional learning programs in their classrooms to build emotional intelligence.
I've been advocating for kindness to be taught in schools for around a decade now. For me, it has always made sense because kindness is the antithesis of bullying. It stands to reason that infecting a school with the kindness bug is going to have a positive effect on children who struggle with antisocial behaviour. A kind majority will eventually have an impact on an unfriendly minority.
That last sentence is key in creating lasting change. I said eventually, and that sounds like a long time, right! People are generally hoping for a quick fix, but when it comes to bullying, there really is no such thing. Think about the number of days, weeks, months and years that may have contributed to building an antisocial personality. A lifetime of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour cannot be wiped out overnight. We're in it for the long haul!
So, in a nutshell, what I am saying is that we need to infuse every child in every grade with kindness and we do that by practicing every... single... day! That's why we continue to develop resources that not only teach kindness but also nurture emotional intelligence.
Resources that help infect students with kindness
Kindness really does have the most incredible power. Little by little, activity after activity, kindness can become a way of life. We even wrote an article to explain why kindness should be taught in schools. It will give you quite an insight into this powerful old-fashioned value, so be sure to read it!
Many thousands of children have used them in their classrooms because the great thing about combining kindness and coloring is that kids are receiving positive messages that reinforce good values while participating in a mindfulness activity. They're also a wonderful addition to a calm down corner.
Our kindness checklists are our second most used resource. They are an absolutely fantastic way to get a whole school to participate in a kindness challenge during Random Acts of Kindness Day (17 February) or World Kindness Day (13 November).
Children are challenged to complete 3 or more acts of kindness in each of 4 categories to reinforce kindness at school as well as outside the school gate:
There are several options for teachers to choose from and each one comes in black outlines for students to color. There is even a google slides option for students or teachers to create their own personalised checklist. The online lists also allow students to participate in a group challenge where they'll have to brainstorm kindness ideas and cooperate with one another. However you decide to be involved, we can guarantee a whole lot of positive feelings are created!
We love it when children send us photos of themselves holding their checklist to show how many acts of kindness they completed during the challenge. It's heartwarming to know that whole grades and schools are participating and that many thousand good deeds are completed at different times of the year.
Our wildly popular post about kindness trees we found in schools gave us the idea to provide a resource that helps teachers to easily create their own.
Kindness trees are a fabulous way to get the whole school involved in doing good and this resource acknowledges the involvement of teachers and administrators. Kids absolutely love to add a leaf with their act of kindness and watch the tree come to life.
Bucket filling is a fun and easy to understand concept that builds character and emotional intelligence to nurture well-being and positive interactions within the classroom and whole school community.
The metaphor of a bucket and dipper explains how every interaction and everything we say or do in a day either fills or empties our and other's emotional buckets. It's a fun way to help increase social, emotional and mental health and improve the culture by creating a positive and content feeling throughout your school.
If you've not heard of bucket filling, there are several fabulous books that are a must-have for any classroom.
Our kindness mission is a team building activity where students work together to take part in acts of kindness. Working in groups helps students learn cooperation and consideration as they build relationships and a growth mindset. Spreading good will throughout the school helps to nurture positive character traits to create a sense of belonging.
Ready to print or use on google slides if you'd like to add a technology element to the lesson.
We understand just how complex it can be to create a calm, happy classroom. Though our focus is mostly on kindness, we are big fans of social and emotional learning and mindfulness too! Take a look at the other resources that can help you improve wellbeing and relationships in your classroom.