Besides the melodies, what made the Beatles’ songs so popular was the human truths they communicated. The bully has had control of the bully pulpit for several years, so it is imperative that we all work on kindness in our individual lives right now.
A recent Harvard study* indicates that we can teach altruism. It shows that role modeling of good will is important. Teachers are usually good at this, but they need to point it out explicitly more often.
In today’s social media world, teaching kids to look outward to help others, rather than adoring their own selfies might help. How about taking cell phone photos of kids helping others, and magnifying them? Let’s eliminate the embrace of the narcissistic selfie from our classrooms.
Give kids many opportunities to feel good helping others. The study suggests that kids need more skills to learn to process their emotions, too. This area could really be effective and helpful for our entire society if schools chose to engage with it more fully. Let’s go, counselors, let’s go! Lead the way!
Finally, the study advises giving your students honest praise often. For some different ways to compliment kids, see Reading Spotlight’s Free Tip:
I have blogged before about how our school’s biggest troublemaker became helpful and understanding as he freely gave up lunch recess to tutor younger, struggling readers:
I was also amazed at how Little Love Letters dramatically affected my classes.
Soooo much better than those store-bought Valentines, we learned about synonyms and adjectives, and my disparate students’ hearts overflowed with kindness toward each other.
I included myself in the little love letters,
and WOW!—I was overwhelmed with my students’ goodwill.
I am not sure if all we need right now is love, but surely we all need love right now.
© Reading Spotlight 2021
Here are some other interesting posts about education from my friends at TBOTEMC: