Whether you are participating in the Great Kindness Challenge, Random Acts of Kindness Week, or creating your own, here are some tips and tricks to a successful kindness challenge.
Talk with your advisory team
I love spending time brainstorming and creating all kinds of ideas, but it’s important to get teacher buy-in to have a successful event. I want to encourage teachers to participate, but I don’t want them to feel overwhelmed.
To avoid the feeling “one more thing we have to do,” I share all my ideas with my school counseling advisory team and then ask them realistically which ideas catch their attention and which ideas cause a feeling of stress.
From there we can fine-tune which ideas we are sticking with and put other an agenda and thing to-do list.
Create a To-Do List
Based on your conversations with your advisory team, create a checklist of action items needed to be completed.
Remember this is a school-wide event and while you may be facilitating the event, you don’t have to do it all! Which action items can you delegate to your advisory team?
Collaborate with other teachers and your students
If I had my way, every event would be dog-themed. However, we want our students and teachers to have buy-in. What is the school theme for the year? How does this align with PBIS? What are the current interests of our students? What are the themes of the national initiatives?
Include your student leaders in helping plan the event. For example, my Jr. Counselors help me create the kindness posters we hang around the school and even help me brainstorm ideas for school-wide events.
Consider other teachers you can team up with? For example, our PE teacher ends class with a mindful moment so I like to collaborate to make these mindful moments kindness themed. Check out Go Noodle and Cosmic Kids Yoga for some great kindness inspired mindful moments.
Do you have a STEM teacher? Co-teach a STEM teambuilding activity and have students practice kindness. Work with your art teacher to co-teach an art inspired kindness lesson.
Build morale by creating teacher-specific events and challenges
The last few years have been very challenging for everyone, so I like to include teacher-specific ideas that help boost morale.
Create multiple options for teachers
I like to give teachers 3 daily options: watch it, read it, or do it! This weekly calendar is provided with links and resources for teachers to quickly and easily help them participate.
Incorporate reading into your events
Before kicking off a kindness challenge I like to read some books about kindness. Here are some of my favorites:
I incorporate these titles into lessons leading up to the event and after.
Don’t have time? Consider sending teachers a mini SEL lesson they can do during a class meeting, as part of their sub plans, or during their reading time.
Provide kindness ideas and resources
I provide classes and teachers with sample checklists of acts of kindness and compliment starter stems to help guide and facilitate the events. The less prep the better for teachers, so I often print out hard copies and put the handouts directly their mailboxes.
It’s important to get feedback after the event, so consider a quick Google Form to gather data and opinions.
What has made your kindness event a success? Tell me below!