Published 12th November 2019
Wednesday 13 November is World Kindness Day. In this day and age we are so accustomed to hearing and reading about tragedies and sadness it has become more important than ever to be the kindness we want to see in the world. This is why the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation wants to make kindness the norm.
Why should we make kindness the norm?
When you think about it, there is so much negativity around us every day. It has become normal for us to focus on the negative, or at least think about the negative aspects of our lives more than the positive. It takes effort and thought to identify the positives and focus on that instead. In order to make our lives better, we need to make more of an effort. We can do this by bring more intentional and incorporating random acts of kindness into our everyday lives. By bringing joy to other people with kindness we will experience happiness ourselves. Plus we would expect to be the recipients of a random act of kindness someday too.
The science of kindness
Believe it or not, there are physical and emotional benefits to being kind. Being kind or even just witnessing a kind act produces oxytocin, which helps to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Being kind increases your energy levels, improves your self-esteem and lowers the likelihood of depression. Incredibly, it can even increase your lifespan. So there are multiple selfish reasons why we should be kind.
Random acts of kindness
Not sure how you can incorporate kindness into your everyday life? Here are a few simple ideas:
- Send a friend or family member a nice Whatsapp message
- Give someone a compliment
- Be nice to your waiter
- Leave coins at the laundromat
- Buy a colleague a cup of coffee
- Send someone a bunch of flowers
- Offer to do someone’s grocery shopping
- Send a postcard
- Take a new mom a home-cooked meal
- Donate clothes or books to a charity
- Be polite on the road
How to celebrate World Kindness Day in the classroom
As a teacher, you have the power to introduce kindness into your classrooms and influence your students to do random acts of kindness too. In the classroom you can set up activities which will show your students how being kind can help themselves as well as other people. You can give them ideas on how to incorporate kindness into their lives.
Here are a few of our favourite ways to bring kindness into the classroom:
Let your students write lists of what they are grateful for in their lives. Building on this list, they can identify people in their lives who would be an appropriate recipient of an act of kindness in return for the role they play in their lives.
Stories of kindness
Find a relevant story of an act of kindness and use the article as the basis for a lesson. Learning about examples of kindness will give your students ideas on what they can do.
Give your students a kindness task to do – they choose from some ideas or pick out of a hat or think of one themselves. When they have done it they can present it to the class or write an article on it.
Get your students to create cards to thank someone for something. They can thank their mom for making their lunches everyday, or their siblings for being so supportive, or their postman for delivering their mail – anything that will bring a smile to someone’s face!
Teach a lesson on how to give compliments in English and get your students to practice them in class before handing out compliments in their real lives.
- The British Council has a free lesson plan with exercises and a worksheet on their Learning English website.
World Kindness Day may seem like a bit of a gimmick but as a teacher it’s possible for you to reach a lot of people and make a big difference to the world. Not only that, but you yourself can take your lessons on board and carry out your own random acts of kindness. Now go forth and be kind!