Teachers care about the relational aspect of teaching. They take time to establish a trusting and caring connection with students, who in turn become more receptive to what’s being taught. Caring is at the heart of our character and will help in creating a positive school climate.
Questions to ask:
- What are your thoughts on teaching caring, kindness and empathy in the classroom?
- In what way are our students already upholding the Pillar of caring?
- Are there examples of where we could improve in words or actions on the part of students toward the Pillar of caring? How about as a staff?
- What can we do to teach students to be more caring and kind to others?
Activities to do:
- Write 3 classroom key beliefs around the Pillar of caring that you would like to instill in your students.
- Write 2 key beliefs you would like to instill in students throughout the school, hallways, lunchroom, etc.
- What instructional strategies or classroom management techniques could you use to be intentional and explicit in instilling these beliefs?
- Positive Sticky Notes – Leave sticky notes with positive messages
- Thank You Letter – Write (and send!) an anonymous letter to someone you respect in your school, workplace, or other community space.
- Caring Bulletin Board – Create a bulletin board in your school and provide plenty of paper in fun shapes or designs where adults and students can write down the acts of kindness they have received or benefitted from.
Project to explore:
One of the effective ways to implement CHARACTER COUNTS! in a school is the creation of a school-wide project. As this lesson is on the Pillar of caring, a school could consider as a project a Campaign of Kindness. As a staff, brainstorm the following:
- Slogan for the campaign
- Agree upon at least four action items that would help to implement the Culture of Kindness campaign
- Assign responsibilities for staff, students and parents
- Establish a timeline with a specific target date for the Kindness project
For additional ideas, a great resource is Random Acts of Kindness – https://www.randomactsofkindness.org
Hear more from Gary on Twitter – @GSmit4Character