World Kindness Day Creates Happy Students

World Kindness Day: Is This Really Important?

It’s November and time to celebrate kindness!

We are into our second quarter providing high quality instruction!!  Students are learning, behaviors are optimal, and we have a true learning family!!  You’re thinking, “This is exactly where I want to be every single day!!! THIS is my PERFECT class!!!”

Wait . . . that’s not you???  Maybe this . . .  I am so frustrated with a couple students.  They look for anything to do other than what needs to be done.  They are interrupting my teaching, teasing other students, not doing any work, failing, other students are complaining, I go home exhausted from the day and am up at night trying to figure out what I can to do turn this ship around.  I’m absolutely exhausted! 

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Well, my friends, I have been there . . . yes . . . both situations!!  I’ve had those tough classes where I felt like I was behind the cart and my students were running the show. I went home tired, ready to cry, and ready to quit! 

On the other hand, I’ve had those “angel classes” where the kids just gelled, they were kind, got along well, cooperated, helpful, and everything ran like clockwork. I was happy to do more for the kids because I was also having fun.  I truly loved teaching everyday!!

How did I go from a “struggling teacher” to an “happy teacher”?  Well . . . it wasn’t overnight.  Honestly, a lot of what I did to build a “classroom culture of caring children” started on the first day of school, but I quickly learned that in order to keep my caring classroom culture going, I had to nurture the students everyday.  I planted those seeds at the beginning of the year, then I continued watering, pruning, and cultivating throughout the year. It was certainly a lot of work, but this extra work created a classroom of students who I enjoyed spending my time with everyday!

world kindness day, caring, empathy,

AND . . . now November is here and there is no better time than the present to focus on kindness.  Around the globe, a special day is designated as World Kindness Day.  A day we can celebrate by showing acts of kindness for each other and celebrating how special each person is in our lives. 

World Kindness Day: History

Did you know “World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, an organization formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness organizations from around the world? The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness.” (https://www.awarenessdays.com). How do you celebrate kindness?

World Kindness Day: Celebrating

This, my friends, is one reason why I love celebrating “World Kindness Day”!  This day comes every year on November 13. Nurturing my students with lessons on this day, well, we do this all week, fits nicely into learning about thankfulness and is a great time for students to be more engaged with each other by letting peers know what their friends are doing that is kind.  AND I follow this up with some fun in December by using a Grinch and heart display.   So you see, the work that I started in August continues through September, sprinkles in October and another dose in November with sprinkles in December.  Building this classroom culture isn’t a one and done lesson or week of lessons, it takes additional nurturing throughout the year.

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World Kindness Day: How to Teach

One way to teach about kindness is to read books to your students. Taking time to read books about kindness is a great opportunity in the classroom and at home.  The read aloud and think aloud leads to heartfelt conversations around the dinner table and in the classroom. Sharing how others show kindness provides positive ideas that can be replicated by others, noticed by others throughout the day, and built upon throughout the year. 

Below are some of my favorite books to read to my students.

Besides the social and emotional lessons in these books, take the opportunity to provide some reading strategy work, follow up with discussion, and even create an “Acts of Kindness” class book where students engage in writing and illustrating their personal acts of kindness.

I am also including a free resource just for you with some of my favorite children’s picture books to teach social and emotional skills that includes kindness. Download your free resource today!

social and emotional learning

World Kindness Day: More Lessons

Are you looking for more lesson ideas and opportunities to teach kindness to your students and children?  Check out these websites for more ideas.

Random Acts of Kindness40 Kindness Activities
Bucket Fillers 101Sing Along
Sesame Street Elmo’s KindnessKindness Art
Sesame Street Sing Along

World Kindness Day: Related Resources

World Kindness Day is an opportunity to teach students how to get along with others, treat others with respect, learn and display empathy, and develop friendships where people serve and help others. Besides the lessons and books shared, I’ve included a few more links with additional opportunities to teach kindness throughout the year.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Service Learning in Our Community

Building Our Learning  Community

World Kindness Day: Final Thoughts

Showing kindness can have a huge impact on the giver’s life and the receiver’s life.  THE BEST part of showing kindness is . . . KINDNESS IS FREE!!   

Don’t forget to mark February 17 as a day to engage in “National Random Acts of Kindness Day” to continue spreading smiles.

Whether using words or good deeds, being kind to others brings a smile to each persons’ face and heart!  Celebrate World Kindness Day and your students will “throw kindness like confetti” on November 13 AND everyday! 

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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for 29 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, English learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Angela

    We have a few of those kids books and love them still.

  2. Barbara

    Kindness is paramount to daily living!

  3. Amanda

    What a fabulous post! I love the book suggestions and the story about Maria! Kindness is such an important concept to instill in our children.

    1. Annette Durbin

      Thanks!! The Maria story is very powerful. The kids feel her pain during the lesson and are eager to be kind and help her feel better.

  4. Sabrina DeWalt

    Maria’s Story is an excellent way to teach the concept of kindness.

  5. Elaina

    Love these book selections, we have been focusing more on kindness and ways to show it at home this week.

    1. Annette Durbin

      That’s a great family focus. Teaching this concept at home will flow over into their real lives AND your children will be able to help others see and use compassion, too.

  6. Alexis Farmer

    Awesome lessons here! Kindness is so important and not given the time of day by some people.

    1. Annette Durbin

      Yes, and you are unfortunately true about spreading kindness.

  7. Karie

    I love teaching lessons with children’s books. I would love it if all of us adults would listen and learn. I guess all we can do is it starts with us. Set an example and hopefully, it spread like wildfire.

    1. Annette Durbin

      I agree!! There is so much to learn from children’s perspective.

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