I’ve been horrible at updating my blog with my weekly small acts of kindness. It’s not that I haven’t been doing the acts, but I find myself so busy in the evening that I’m having a hard time writing about them. In the next couple weeks, I’m going to try to catch up because this really is important to me.
The week before spring break I did something fun with all my classes. Many of my students have some unimaginable situations at home. They have some very real problems, much more than just the drama over who’s dating who, and what grade they got on their history test. When I’m having a pity party, I find that doing something nice for someone else makes me forget about my problems and focus on someone else. It’s excellent (and cheap) therapy! I wanted to give my students the chance to do this too.
Then, some of my students had asked me about the shootings a few weeks ago in Ohio. I told them, “You never know how your actions are going to affect another person. The person you insult today may snap and come back to school with a gun tomorrow. Conversely, the person who is contemplating suicide may be so cheered up when you invite them to sit at your table during lunch that they go home and choose not to carry out their deathly plan.”
So, I decided to have my students participate in some random acts of kindness. I bought several bags of lollipops and attached notes to them. One side of the note read, “You’re important! :)” The other listed five things the recipient could do to pay it forward. Things like Walk your neighbor’s dog, Open the door for someone, and Clean your room were listed.
I had each of my students take a handful of lollipops with the instructions to pass them out to random people in the hallways. I didn’t want them just giving them to their buddies, but giving them out to a lonely looking sixth grader or a favorite teacher, or a kid on crutches, etc.
It was fun watching them hand them out during passing periods. They were reluctant and self-conscious at first, but soon they were running around, passing the candy out with a smile. Now and then, throughout the day, I’d see kids walking around with the lollipops. It was pretty cool. I think I’m going to make that a regular activity.
As always, please add your ideas for random acts of kindness here. We can all benefit from hearing what you’re doing in to make a difference in your lives!