By Amy Linkel, IPLI Mentor & Principal at South Ripley Elementary School
As I was scurrying around this morning trying to get out the door and head to work, I was flying through the living room and noticing the things that my kids didn’t put up, and thinking to myself “It’s never ending!.” But then I look down and see my daughter’s American Girl catalog. I stop, because the front cover catches my attention. It simply states, “KINDNESS Impossible to wrap, but so easy to give.” My, how true that is and how awesome that it is on the front cover of a child’s magazine!
Monday, November 13 was World Kindness Day and what a great day to celebrate! Students, teachers, family members, friends, and principals, LIKE YOU, can help each other so much, by just being kind. What does it mean to be kind? Mirriam Webster defines it as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Have you demonstrated kindness today? For your family? As a parent? As a spouse? As a principal? As a principal, we know that we must instill kindness in our students every day. However, in school there really isn’t any “built in” curriculum for kindness or assessments to assess it. So, how can we help students understand how vital it is in the world to be kind?
First, let’s start by showing empathy. Always make the student or teacher whom you are speaking with feel as if they are the most important person to you at that time. Wouldn’t that be a great way to show kindness? Next, do something random to show your students and teachers that you care. Discover their passions and act upon them. Model! Model! Model! Kindness is contagious. Lead and model in a way that you want your students and teachers to do. It sure is easy to say, “Thank you” or “I love your outfit today.” It just might mean the world to them to hear this.
Teaching our students to be kind is an important life lesson. Our students must hear and see it daily to be able to practice kindness on their own. Before you know it, you will notice your students opening doors for you, complimenting others, and just using great manners. Remember, kindness is contagious!
So the next time you are scurrying around your house like me, or maybe it’s at your school and you are headed to a meeting and walking through your hallway, take time to show kindness. It sometimes only takes a second or two and maybe it’s just a smile, but it can have a lasting impact!
As you are heading into this holiday season and are worried about what to buy others or how to wish your students and teachers “Merry Christmas,” ‘Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Kwanzaa,” or “Happy New Years,” remember that it’s simple…KINDNESS It’s impossible to wrap, but so easy to give! And you will be making the world a better place for your students, teachers, family, and you!