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Five-Minute Film Festival: Videos on Kindness, Empathy, and Connection

Five-Minute Film Festival: Videos on Kindness, Empathy, and Connection
I'd like to offer up a video playlist to remind all of us about the power of empathy, kindness, and human connections. It's always a good time to practice gratitude for the relationships that sustain us all -- for the people who have taught us in a school setting and beyond, and for the young ones we are able to nurture and inspire. I was also thinking about how many of us are living out the paradox of being ever more plugged in, and ever more aware of what's happening in our community via social media platforms, while at the same time, face-to-face interactions are less frequent than ever before. We are in constant touch, but barely touching. Watching these videos made me remember the importance of re-connecting, treating people with kindness and respect, and being generous and compassionate to both loved ones and strangers. If each of us pledged to do more of that, we'd make a better world for all of us to learn and grow in. Video Playlist: Kindness, Empathy, and Connection

Related: Articles on CharacterKindness/Empathy

Teaching Kindness: More Than a Random Act It's been a long time since I was in elementary school. But I can remember it like it was yesterday. I wasn't the cutest, skinniest or best-dressed girl. I wasn't even a popular girl, but I had an advantage; I could sing like "nobody's business," and my teachers loved that about me. As a result, I think I was spared the bullying that could've come from classmates due to my lack of the aforementioned qualities.

Kindness in the Classroom Lesson Plans Our FREE lesson plans can make a difference in your classroom. Research shows that students who learn in a positive environment have a better school experience—they enjoy higher test scores, learn new skills at a faster rate, and are overall happier at school. We're in our fourth year of researching the implementation, and we’ve measured positive results showing that practicing kindness in the classroom transforms not only students, but teachers and entire school cultures as well. We encourage you to use these plans in your classroom and provide feedback so we can fine tune them for use by others. With your help, we'll build an excellent resource for every instructor to teach kindness in the classroom and help create positive learning environments for their students.

Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying Phrases like "random acts of kindness" and "pay it forward" have become popular terms in modern society. This could perhaps be best explained by those who have identified a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism. It seems there are good reasons why we can't get enough of those addictive, feel-good emotions, as scientific studies prove there are many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits associated with kindness. Kindness Project Ideas 1. Welcome Winter Gloves Submitted by Anonymous, Idaho A high school psychology teacher in Idaho purchased a pair of winter gloves for every student in her class and assigned them to find someone in their school or community who needs that pair of gloves, perhaps to keep warm or to do a job. They were to document who received the “helping hands” and why that person was chosen.

3 Strategies to Foster Sociability What helps children engage in learning? According to studies on the social nature of how we acquire knowledge, one answer is clear: Children engage in learning through their cooperative capacity to interact with others. We often call this sociability, and we recognize it in children when we observe their enjoyment of being together -- chatting, joking, laughing, working, and creating friendships. It is through these interactions that kids make the invisible visible, cross boundaries into new spheres of learning, and initiate thoughts and feelings that help them chart pathways through life.

Random Acts of Kindness Start A Kindness Journal Or Blog "No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." -Aesop Volunteer At A Food Bank There are many ways to help your local food bank. Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance Amy: Kenny is a student that participated in my grit program last year. Kenny: This is my evaporator. Amy: He's a perfect example of a ten year old with grit. In New Hampshire, we do a lot of sugaring, which is the term for making maple sugar and it's a whole ton of work. Kenny: This one's actually kind of-- got some in it.

She’s Working As A McDonald’s Cashier. When A Customer Says THIS, She Breaks Down It’s very easy to believe that the holidays are a wonderful time for everyone. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There are so many families that are often times struggling during the holidays and it doesn’t help that it seems like everyone else is having a good time. Resilience and Grit Resource Roundup Nurturing Resilience Resilience and Learning (ASCD's Educational Leadership, 2013) The September 2013 issue of ASCD’s Education Leadership was dedicated to “Resilience and Learning.” While some of the articles are available only by paid subscription, free highlights include: "Reflections on Resilience," "Havens of Resilience," "Handle with Care: A Conversation with Maya Angelou," and "7 Secrets of Resilience." Resilience: The Other 21st Century Skills (User Generated Education, 2013) Jackie Gerstein uses this blog post to discuss characteristics of resilience, key points from resilience research, and how educators can connect with students to help them develop resiliency. Is Resilience the Secret to Student Success? (ASCD's The Whole Child podcast, 2013) Sara Truebridge, an education consultant on resilience; and Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and author; discuss what resilience looks like and how it can be developed.

Social Justice: A Whole-School Approach Social justice -- what does that mean to you as a person? As an educator? If you're interested in starting this conversation, here's a place to start. Perspective: A Game Changer in the Classroom and in Our Lives What is perspective? What does it have to do with teaching, leadership, and learning? The Oxford English Dictionary defines perspective as: "A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view." Blending this definition into our instruction, classroom cultures, and relationships, perspective drives all we are and do in our classrooms. Perspectives are bundles of beliefs, a mindset that we each embrace determining how we see one another, our experiences, and possibilities or lack thereof. As teachers, our perspectives directly impact student emotions and their learning, because emotions are contagious.