As students enter the older grades at Rosa L. Parks Elementary School, it is important to find ways for them to show leadership around the school. When they understand that they are examples for the younger and new-to-the-school kids, they obtain a sense of positive influence. The Middle School Kindness Challenge helped create opportunities within our instructional day for students to build upon their characters as positive community contributors.
During the challenge, we read Wonder by R.J Palacio, and then took a field trip to to see the movie in theaters. The activities and lessons paired together for a unit of friendship, integrity, and helping others.
“Kindness doesn’t need anything but someone to help them do something with a smile.”
– Student at Rosa L. Parks Elementary School
Honestly, the curriculum does not wait or slow down to complete activities outside of it. School days are filled with testing, field trips, meetings, and pullout programs. However, the Kindness Challenge was so worth the additional planning and dedication. The activities allowed me to get to know my students better and it was a joy to see them interact in such positive ways.
The teachers were also brought closer through collaboration and planning for the Kindness Challenge. We were able to learn with each other and from each other, which added to kindness being shown at school. Hey, as adults we need refreshers on being kind.
We learned the overall importance of continued collaboration supporting kindness, empathy, and positive character traits in all aspects of life.