Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kindness ~ Is it Valued?

kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

     synonyms ~ gentleness, concern, affection, care

Is kindness a virtue that is valued today? According to a June 25, 2014 report by Meghan Holohan for Today.com, 80% of youth surveyed say their parents value their achievements & happiness over their kindness. Read more on this article entitled "Parents value grades over kindness kids say in new study".

What I found from the article that I thought was most interesting was:
     1) A focus on achievement and accomplishments doesn't always lead to contentment; instead it can often lead to stress and bad behaviors, such as cheating, to live up to expectations.
     2) Teaching children about caring can enrich their lives through responsibility and relationships, which in turn can lead to happiness.
     3) All of these virtues (happiness, achievement, and kindness) do not have to be mutually exclusive.

How do we balance the high expectations we want for our students (and own children) to achieve academic excellence while still managing to teach them how to be kind and caring toward their classmates and community?

It's all about modeling kindness & giving them an opportunity to practice it.

So, that is now my mission ~ a kindness campaign.

I'm currently making lists & gathering resources to put this mission into action in my 4th grade class this fall. I hope to post again before school starts with my outline plan. Amazing circumstances, people, and reoccurring similar themes & activities have popped up in the last month through great chats & blogs that I've found through Twitter. I have learned that just reaching out and asking a question can connect you with great people & resources. 

If you have any great books, projects, lessons, or ideas you'd like to send my way, feel free & comment. I'd love to add it to my list. :)
Love my new Kindness t-shirt. Thanks to Adam Sherman (@AShermanEDU) for
connecting me with To Be Kind @TBKtobekind, a great anti-bullying group.
 More info at TBKtobekind.org


  1. Jen - timely blog post! Very important to share this out! Here are some resources that I use:
    "Lessons from the Classroom: 20 things Good Teachers Do" - Hal Urban , "You Can't Teach Through a Rat" - Marvin Berkowitz

  2. Love this. Our district is launching a Be Nice campaign. It grew out of a student group from Fairview High School (in Tennessee) and has caught on across the county. Right now there is a "Be Nice" tour going around the world with Williamson County schools. (@WCSedu). As a person who builds relationships with kids, this is important! :)

  3. The statistics you shared about the perceived importance of kindness are scary! I know that as a parent, I place a great deal of value on kindness. I wonder if my son feels that way.
    As a teacher, I try to build habits of kindness with my students. I've used Ron Clark's Essential 55 as a starting point in the past. Getting kids to pick up a dropped item, hold the door for others, and look for opportunities to perform random acts of kindness is a great start. I look forward to hearing how you are able to inspire more kindness in your classroom.