In our group discussion today, we started talking about peculiar cat behaviour and cute baby bunnies. Slowly our random conversation evolved into someone in our group saying, “Kindness is the highest form of wisdom” which raised the question “How do we teach Kindness in our classroom?”
Kindness can be an overarching team for questions that regard to uncomfortable conflict situations within the classroom. If we teach our students what kindness is, what it looks like and its power, then we can teach them what to do in situations of conflict or discomfort, and most importantly how to respect each other.
It would be unrealistic to force all our students to be friends. That’s not what happens in real life. We can’t all be friends. But what is realistic is to teach them that respecting others, and being kind to others even in stressful situations, can help us overcome the conflict.
Kindness can be learnt. It can be fostered and practiced and it comes from the ability to step back and self reflect. When faced with a situation where someone triggers anger in another student, the student can step back, and self reflect on why this makes them so angry. How can I respond in a kind way towards this person. This idea of self reflection also ties in with self evaluation. The ability for a student to evaluate their process in an assignment is teaching them the skills of being able to ask these same questions in their daily life. “How did I reach to my conclusion?” “What did I learn from doing this?” “How did I challenge myself” “What risks did I take?” “How did I deal with this situation with kindness?” etc.
The ability to ask these questions to ourselves and teach students to do so, could be a step forward in teaching them kindness and understanding of other people and also, themselves.