Kindness in the Classroom

By Noelle Woytko of Children’s Village

Possessing the qualities of being friendly, generous, and considerate defines kindness. How do we teach this to our young learners?

Model

Young children learn through a variety of teaching practices. Modeling with our young learners provides an explicit view of how we want them to behave and what we expect from them. For example, if you want them to be kind to one another, demonstrate it in your own actions.  Show your students what it means to be kind by treating your colleagues, families, and them with kindness. Say something nice. Model “please” and “thank you”. When someone is upset, comfort them by offering a hug, pat on the back, or a simple, “Are you okay?” We know that our young learners love to emulate adults through pretend play, so let’s provide them with positive and kind interactions of our own.

Reinforce

It is our job as educators to reinforce kindness. When observing children being kind to one another, make a big deal out of it!  Stop everything and talk about how wonderful the moment was, even if it may be something as simple as a child opening up a door for someone. Give “Kindness Stickers” when you notice children giving one another a helping hand. Teachers could create a “Kindness Chart” and add stickers to the chart when they observe kind moments from the students. Once you get to 20 stickers, maybe every child could receive a sticker, or teachers could read a special book to the entire group or lead a favorite activity (like a dance party!) When children feel safe and loved in their group, odds are, they’ll be kinder to one another.

Use Children’s Literature

Book readings provide examples and opportunities for discussions about kindness and empathy. When reading a story to children, stop and identify a kind act that a character may have done. For example, “Wasn’t that so kind of Bear to pour more tea for Mouse?”

Some great children’s books that display kind behavior:

Practice

Students can practice being kind to one another daily. Partner two students up together each day and have them share something nice or kind about the other, then students can come to the whole group and share to everyone. When a student has a birthday party in the classroom, go around the room and encourage students to say something nice to this child on their birthday.

Play

Learning through play provides opportunities for children’s developmental growth in all areas. They love to play! Encourage kindness scenarios during play.

Some example scenarios and materials:   

  • Baby Dolls
    • Feed the babies using play food
    • Give the babies a check-up using doctor kit
    • Read a favorite book to the babies
  • Pretend Food
    • Make a meal for your playmates
    • Have a birthday party! Make and eat cake.
  • Art
    • Create artwork for your classmates. Draw something they love using markers, watercolor paints, or the variety of craft materials in your art area.

-----

Noelle Woytko is a Lead Preschool Teacher at Children’s Village, a large culturally and linguistically diverse childcare center in Center City, Philadelphia. A graduate of Temple University (B.S. in ECE and Elementary Education) and Cabrini College (M.S.Ed. in Education), Noelle has been in the field for 10 years, beginning her career as a substitute and then eventual lead teacher. Noelle holds a Level 2 teaching certification in Pennsylvania and is a member of NAEYC and DVAEYC. Noelle has also been featured on the cover and in an article of NAEYC’s TYC (Teaching Young Children) magazine.

The opinions, representations, and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of Becker’s School Supplies as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. 

 

Latest Articles

Jul15

The Most Important Social and Emotional Learning Tool is Here!

A teacher with a growth mindset is the key to early social emotional learning!

Read More >

Jun10

End of the Year Awards - Character Counts!

Check out these ideas for End of the School Year awards!

Read More >

May29

Play Every Day to Keep the Doctor Away

The benefits of children playing outdoors are many. Take a look!

Read More >

Apr22

33 Eco-Friendly Activities for Early Childhood Education

Looking for new Earth Day activities for your early childhood classroom? Check these out!

Read More >

Apr08

Let Them Play: Six Strategies to Promote Play

Looking for new ideas to promote play in the early childhood classroom? Check out these ideas!

Read More >

Apr01

Yoga & Mindfulness Monday: The Bat Pose!

Inversions like the "bat" pose are considered the king of yoga poses. Learn more!

Read More >

Mar19

Ways to Celebrate Music in our Schools Month in Early Childhood Classrooms

Some easy ways to celebrate music in the preschool and PreK classrooms this month and beyond!

Read More >

Mar12

Outdoor Learning: Tips for Beyond the Classroom Walls

Four tips to help ensure outdoor learning is productive for your students.

Read More >

Mar04

Interview with Yoga and Mindfulness Educator Bari Koral

We asked Bari Koral a few questions about her journey in developing yoga and mindfulness programs for children

Read More >

Feb18

Journey into Mindfulness and Yoga in the Early Childhood Classroom

Easy ways to incorporate aspects of yoga and mindfulness into your early childhood classroom.

Read More >

Back To Top

FREE Shipping

Free shipping for orders over $99

*Excludes furniture and equipment items marked with a truck or truck . Applies to orders over $99 within the continental United States only. Free Shipping applies after your discount is calculated.