I walked into a pole the other day as I was mid-conversation with two 8th grade boys. They laughed, I laughed, and one of the boys smiled and waved it off, telling me “Todavía eres chévere.” (You’re still cool.)
Students were passing papers down the row. One student cheerfully said “Gracias” and the other responded “De nada, mi amigo.” These boys are not friends, they are just classmates being cordial with one another.
How do we breed kindness?
- Greeting students at the door
- Speaking each others’ names often
- Making eye contact
- Being genuinely interested in each other
- Asking follow-up questions
- High-fiving your neighbor
- Shaking hands with the people next to you
- Getting to know each other through PQA or mini output breaks
- Thanking each other often
- Laughing with each other often
- I appreciated having you in my group because… This was an idea taken from my high school Spanish teacher. Whenever we changed seating charts, we wrote a kind note to every person in our group. Here is a form I use for it. I appreciated having you in my groupdocx I appreciated having you in my grouppdf
Keep doing what you are doing. Create those connections. Model kindness. It may just be the most important part of our job.