Five Teacher Tips for Fostering Kindness

By Huntington Learning Center

The primary focus of your job is to guide students toward learning and prepare them for the next grade – and the real world. You might also work on cultivating students’ “soft” skills like perseverance and communication, but there’s something else that matters: kindness.

The Center for Creative Leadership’s white paper, “Empathy in the Workplace: A Tool for Effective Leadership,” shares that empathy is positively related to job performance, while countless other experts cite kindness as an asset of some of the world’s most successful people.

You care about your students’ long-term well-being. So, teach them not just to achieve but to treat others well along the way. Here are a few tips to cultivate kindness in your students:

  1. Lead by example. As always, your example speaks volumes. Treat your students with respect and compassion. Be a good role model for what it looks like to genuinely care for others.
  2. Teach them to find the good in others. Encourage your students to build up classmates, friends, and peers, even with small gestures like a smile or a compliment a day. This has mutually positive benefits on both sides.
  3. Talk about understanding. That’s what empathy is all about – putting yourself in another’s shoes. Teach your students to take others’ perspectives and keep an open mind as they learn about the world and different people and cultures.
  4. Set expectations for high ethics. Discuss moral issues as they come up. Ask students what they stand for and how they “walk the walk” in their daily lives.
  5. Explain how actions affect others. Selflessness is at the root of being a kind person. Talk to your students about how they can have a positive (or negative) impact on others.

A culture of kindness in your classroom will nurture students’ development of empathy, self-esteem, and more. This positive environment will strengthen your students as individuals and future leaders.


Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash