This year has been challenging for all of us. More challenging than any other year we have experienced. Whether you are balancing new safety measures, online teaching, hybrid model, 100 percent in-person teaching, or some crazy combination, you’ve gone back to your first year of teaching. Because we have all been under a whole new type of stress, it’s essential to take a moment and give ourselves some grace and kind words. How? There are many simple ways you can spread kindness to your colleagues.
1: Make Kindness a Priority
Kindness is so important to spread; however, it can be hard to remember or make time. Sometimes you need to plan to be kind. While this sounds crazy, we often bypass little things we used to do to be nice to save a few extra minutes. Skipping making kindness a priority is incredibly true now with all of the additional regulations and hats we have to wear as educators. You can add “spread kindness” to your digital planner and make it a priority again.
2: Spread Kindness and Write a Note
A quick and easy thing to do is give colleagues some recognition for doing well. We all know teaching is a thankless job. Take the time to write your co-worker a little note thanking them for a job well done! If you don’t know what is going on in a teacher’s classroom, writing simple letters that say “You’re doing great!” or “You’re a Rock Star!” can make a huge difference in a person’s day. If you’re not in person, you can always send a friendly email or send them a few digital stickers.
3: Random Acts of Kindness
The little things in life sometimes mean the most. When you are spreading kindness, you don’t have to go all out. Sometimes, it can be as simple as picking up copies off the printer or lending a hand sanitizing at the end of the day. Whenever you take a little bit of time to help your fellow teacher out, you are showing kindness. The best part about random acts of kindness is they tend to have a ripple effect. Therefore, you might want to think how you can teach kindness to your students, too.
4: A Little Something Special
When you want to give someone a bit of surprise or make someone’s day, you can do so by giving them a little gift. This gift doesn’t have to be big, sometimes a new pack of pens, a paid lunch, or a five-dollar gift card can go a long way! If you know the teacher, you can easily pick up his/her favorite snack and put it on their desk. If you are virtually learning, you can send them a little something in the mail or use a virtual gift card to spread some kindness. I've been making these fun resin pencils for my friends.
5: Create a Kindness Squad
One way to know what people like is to be a part of the sunshine committee. Create a Kindness Squad as part of the sunshine committee's priorities. The kindness squad meets once a month to decide on a little something nice to do to show appreciation for the staff.
One idea is my Mummy candy bar. It is almost October and all teachers love chocolate! You can grab the download here. Other ideas might include an ice cream social or extra planning time. To ensure the same people aren't on the kindness squad every month, be sure to rotate month by month.
6: Spread Kindness with a Little Positive-I-Tea
What’s one thing all teachers love? Liquid! We need energy, so a cup of coffee or a cup of positive-i-tea can be such a sweet gesture. Teachers don’t always have time to get up and do anything, including getting something to drink. So, help your teachers out by getting them some water, a pop, or a little caffeine. Here is how to make the cups below:
- Grab some snack size Ziploc bags or small jewelry bags
- Add a 1/2 teaspoon of tea (my favorite is lemon).
- 1 Tablet of Liftoff (my favorite is Berry Pomegranate)
- Grab a cup from Dollar Tree (so many varieties)
- Print your tags. You can download here.
The new normal isn’t quite familiar to anyone yet. Therefore, it’s essential to show love and kindness whenever we can. Being kind doesn’t have to cost a bunch of money either. Simple gestures and a little extra thought can go a long way.