A kind classroom creates a safe and enjoyable learning environment, and empowers children with the knowledge and courage to practise kindness to themselves and others. We share our five top tips for a kind classroom, and a kinder world below.
Create a classroom environment with visual cues to remind students that your classroom is a kind space. You can do this by placing kindness posters around the room, at the door or next to bag racks, or by creating a kindness corner to display student work focusing on kindness. Talk about kindness regularly. Ask students what kindness looks and feels like and what actions can be taken to show kindness in the classroom. Consider focusing on a kindness theme during class discussions such as empathy, compassion, collaboration, self-awareness or gratitude, and discuss how students could show or practise these things.
Showing kindness is a practised skill. Taking a moment to ask your class to consider how they can show kindness to themselves and others during the day will help keep this intention front of mind. Before lessons begin, share with your class an action you will take to show kindness today. You can then invite them to share with you their thoughts on what they can do to show kindness too. Remember the actions can be small, a simple smile as you walk past someone can be a great act of kindness. Our Kindness Superhero badges can be worn by students all day, and are a great way for students to remind themselves of kindness.
It can be easy to forget that being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others. Kindness to self can be shown through simple things such as keeping your workspace tidy, participating in activities that you enjoy, sleeping well and eating well. Sharing gratitude is also a great way to encourage self-care and kindness amongst students. At the end of the day, consider asking your students to share something they are grateful for with the class or individually in a special journal. They may feel grateful for a wonderful book they have just read, playing with their family pet in the afternoon or their friends. This is a great way to encourage positive thinking and feelings which in turn help improve self-perception.
Catch students being kind! Use these examples to demonstrate how others might also be able to show kindness. If an opportunity occurs where students can practise kindness, spotlight it, so that students can take advantage of the opportunity and collaborate on ways they could show kindness. Ask “How might we show kindness in this situation?” or “What might we have done differently so that we could practise kindness in this situation?”
Be kind to your body by making sure you are practicing good nutrition. Getting your two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies every day and drinking plenty of water will make you feel good, keep your mind active and give you enough energy to practise kindness. Encourage your students to bring in a healthy brain break snack or lunchbox each day, or to be brave and try a new fruit or veggie when they get the chance. Role modelling healthy choices and kindness are also great ways to encourage your students to take these actions too.
Want a little help introducing kindness into your classroom? Try a free kindness lesson from our new Harold’s Kind Classrooms program. A wellbeing and resilience program designed for Year 3 and 4 students, Harold’s Kind Classrooms aligns with the Australian Health and Physical Education V9 Curriculum and includes valuable teacher and student resources to help kids practice kindness every day!