I try not to get too personal on my blog, however today I am going to speak my 2 cents, if you don’t mind. (And there is a freebie included, so it’s worth the read!)
These days I get sad and discouraged when I wake up to the news or check my social media outlets. All I see around me is hatred, negativity and disgust. Trust me, I get it, we all have bad days. I’m not talking about the “I had a bad day” or the “ugh, I need a day off” type of negativity. I’m talking about the real kind of sadness. The type that leaves you feeling worst than you did before. The type of negativity that makes you question your own morals and integrity. The type that simply ruins your day.
I get it, negativity can be contagious. However, now that I see it trickling down to the education level it’s concerning to me. What are we exposing to our students? I know negativity is all around us. If you walk into the staff lounge and hear a bunch of complaints, do you leave the lounge feeling uplifted or peaceful? No. It’s only natural to chime in and get discouraged yourself. But can we choose to turn these situations around? Can we choose kindness? I think yes.
We as respected professionals can agree to disagree, we can support different thoughts of one another and we can grow from each other’s differences. We, as educators, must stand together for our students and for the future. If we cannot work together, what chance do our students have? I see negativity across teacher social media accounts and personal pages as well. My fear is that if we as teachers can’t possess a certain level of kindness, how do our students see us? Is our own “adult” dissatisfaction contagious to students too? Can we pass the “negative” bug? If we can’t remember to find the good in the world, how will our students feel safe? If we are not modeling kindness, how will we expect our students to know how to treat one another and to accept others.
In the world of special education, we are filled with a world of differences. We are taught to be accepting of these differences and to be proud of each and every difference. Let’s try to remember this, and to be kind.
Whatever happens, whatever doesn’t go your way, or whatever challenges you in any way, CHOOSE KINDNESS. You will never make the wrong decision if you decisions come from a place of good.
Be Good. Do Good. Spread good.
With that being said, I AM EXTREMELY excited to show you my plans to celebrate National Kindness Day this week in my classroom. I really believe in the importance of kindness, acceptance and positivity in the school setting. We will be utilizing my I Can Be Kind lesson from my behavior basics curriculum paired with these freebies. In addition to my behavior basics lesson, we will be reading the book “The Monster Who Lost His Mean.” By Tiffany Strelitz Haber. Included in my freebie are all of these activities that you can use and/or adapt for your classroom!
First, as always, read the story. I like to read stories such as this in a comfortable setting just simply sitting on the floor with my kids. I let them kick their shoes off and lay as they listen to me read. Once I complete the story the first time, I will re-read the story and discuss the pictures and pose discussion questions.
After we read the story, it’s time to have the KINDNESS MONSTER visit your class. I found this adorable guy on Amazon for a good deal. How cute is he? I discussed with my students that the KINDNESS MONSTER is here to see only kindness in our classroom. Students then had the opportunity to make their own kindness monster hat to become KINDNESS MONSTERS themselves! (Common, how cute are these!?) As we act like KINDNESS MONSTERS I introduced the game called Kindness Monster Dumpster Dive. Students jotted down one time they were mean or unkind on the provided piece of paper. Once all students did this, I used my best puppet voice to have the KINDNESS MONSTER speak about how upset he was too see we were not acting like kindness monsters our selves. I then instructed all of the students o crumble up their mean actions so that we could throw meanness away! I then called students up one by one to toss their mean into the trash. Of course, we took this opportunity to make it a little challenging, I used tape for students to try to shoot it like a basketball! Once all of the “mean” was thrown away the kindness monster pulled one out at a time to read. As a class we discussed how we could make a better decision in this setting for next time.
As students acted as kindness monsters, I did this super cute anchor chart activity with the students to share different ways monsters can be kind. Students copied the responses on to their own worksheet.
Following our Kindness Monster Dumpster Dive, students completed their writing activity to conclude our kindness lesson!
I really believe that every classroom should have a warm and fuzzy feeling to it. I believe each student should feel safe and welcome while at school. Promoting kindness is the first step to achieving this! Grab this bundle for free by clicking HERE.
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