With all the news and the disruption we’ve experienced these past 20 months, one simple but powerful thing helped students at Palmer Elementary make it through remote learning and return safely to classrooms: kindness.
And while things are getting better, both in our school buildings and in many of our communities, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt by many students and staff.
During remote learning, we saw an increase in students exhibiting behaviors related to depression, anxiety, and even suicide ideation. Some of this behavior has even returned this school year.
Students as well as educators were hungry for connection and support. Teaching kindness made connecting easier. Students communicated better. Bickering and miscommunication decreased. They were kinder to each other and to school staff.
Kindness helped our students deal with the uncertainty and turmoil of the pandemic. The Teach Kindness lessons were essential to our school community. They gave us a common language for everyone to share. They made it easier for students to speak up if they or their classmates were not being treated properly.
The positive impact it has had on our school culture cannot be overstated. Not only that, our hard work and focus on kindness was recognized with the 2020-2021 Kind School Award!
Making the world a kinder place has helped in the classrooms, in the hallways, and in the community. It helped here and can help in any Illinois school.
P.S.: Read more about the other Illinois schools honored with the Teach Kindness 2020-2021 Kind Schools award. Teach Kindness is open to all Illinois schools, so any educator looking to learn more should reach out to Brandi Watts at Stand for more information.