Today, I smiled. I smiled a great big, wonderfully grateful smile for the unexpected token of kindness shared. As my family headed to visit grandparents, we made a quick stop to fill the gas tank and grab a cup of coffee. As we walked to the register to pay, a couple approached us with two coupons for free coffee, telling us they hope it brightened our day. It did. My great big, wonderful smile stayed on my face for a while as I thought about how I could pay it forward. In the spirit of Random Acts of Kindness week, here are a few ways you can pay it forward for your students:
Personally connect. This week, come out of your classroom in the morning and personally greet each student by name. Add a handshake, a high-five or a fist pump to start the day off right.
Give a freebie. While students might not enjoy a free cup of coffee as much as I did, I am certain they would enjoy a night without homework. Print out a fun ‘No Homework Tonight’ coupon like this one and encourage students to enjoy the night with their families, perhaps giving a random act of kindness of their own.
Leave a note. Set out sticky notes and markers on a table and encourage students to write compliments for others, secretly sticking the notes to their desks or mailbox. Be sure to add one of your own for each of your students and watch their faces’ light up in pride.
Enjoy a book. Give your class the gift of a read aloud together. Choose a book you know they will enjoy or learn from and give yourself a few extra minutes to simply read and talk together. Wondering what book to use? Try one of these books focused on kindness and empathy.
Surprise your class. I vividly remember each and every time my teachers ate lunch with our class in the classroom. It was a fun, special time that I still hold onto. Surprise your students with lunch together. Play a game, sing songs and celebrate some down time.
Give the gift of time. Go ahead…..add 5 more minutes to recess! Students deserve time to run, play, create and simply be a kid. You might be surprised at what just 5 minutes of unstructured time can do for students’ minds and bodies.
Don’t forget you! Treat yourself to your own random act of kindness and remind yourself the incredible role you play in the future of your students’ lives. Practice self-care so you can be there for your students each and every day.
Want to know about Random Acts of Kindness Week? Head here and stay paying it forward!