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Nothing screams, “Make 2018 your best year yet,” better than stories of kindness in and around the classroom. Louise Durant, an Arizona Hope Street Fellow, shares her experience to encourage peer educators. Be kind: A classroom rule that’s been on my list for as long as I can remember. It wasn't un

Jan 18, 2018

Nothing screams, “Make 2018 your best year yet,” better than stories of kindness in and around the classroom. Louise Durant, an Arizona Hope Street Fellow, shares her experience to encourage peer educators.


Be kind: A classroom rule that’s been on my list for as long as I can remember. It wasn't uncommon to hear "use kind hands" or "are you being kind?" throughout the day in my room. Unfortunately, I was still seeing and hearing students use unkind actions. Frankly, it puzzled me.

We talked and talked about kindness, but here students were blithely doing the opposite. One day, I realized that, possibly, many of my students did not truly know what it meant to “be kind.” Perhaps they didn't come from a space where kindness was the default.

So, along with my standards and lessons, I began explicitly teaching kindness. Through stories and role play we explored what kind hands and feet look like. We talked about how unfriendly words make us feel, and we modeled what could we do or say to help foster friendships and community.

lilly math

One year later and my classroom is a different place. Still imperfect, it is not uncommon to hear my students correcting each other, communicating the languages of kindness, and simply just being nicer to themselves and one another. I’m proud to say a small effort on my part has gone a long way to make us a true school family.

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