Two years ago, the former principal of the Grade School Unit of XS, Miss Aimee Apolinario, would always remind our Grade School students during General Assembly every Monday to always “choose to be kind.” In every action or decision that they do, they should always remember to be kind to their classmates, friends, schoolmates, siblings or even to a random stranger.
As a CLE or rel ed teacher, teaching kids the value of kindness is something easy to say, but also something hard to do. We want the kids to do the act and not just to know the act, because ultimately, the true test whether a student understood the value of kindness is through his daily actions in the real world.
As teachers, the reminder to be kind also struck most of us. As teachers we have to model to the students what we want them to do. Hence, we also wanted to be kind teachers – strict but caring educators.
In an interesting article by Lisa Currie, the fruits of being kind to others are specifically listed. Scientifically, doing acts of kindness has benefits to the body, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Some of the benefits are:
- Increased Peer Acceptance
- Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self-Esteem
- Improved Health and Less Stress
- Increased Feelings of Gratitude
- Reduced Depression
- Less Bullying
Read more about the benefits of being kind here: Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying.
In our CLE class this fourth quarter, we focused on the commandments that are basically oriented towards relating properly with other people, i.e. 5th (Thou shall not kill), 7th (Thou shall not steal), 8th (Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor), and 10th (Thou shall not cover your neighbor’s good). At this point, I am really excited to read their personal reflections and to check out their interactive projects in promoting the values of mercy, respect, and compassion towards their fellow students or to their classmates. I hope to be able to share their ideas and projects.