There are many issues that come with making schools emotionally safer for all students. What we do know, students with disabilities are more likely to be victims of bullying, with a focus on students whose disabilities aren’t evident, and staff need to be better prepared to navigate students through social issues. Paraeducators are literally extra eyes trained to actively observe, even informally, social interactions that all students have.
So, some of the ways to encourage a better environment are the programs of #kindness to trend every year through October as a part of awareness through social media.
So what is kindness? Adults have the fuzzy expectation that kindness is just there, and many students honestly exhibit kindness, but many other students might only have superficial connections to kindness for a lot of reasons that are beyond school days’ worth of control. Then there are the students who have been kind initially and now a week later are choosing to just walk past instead of acknowledging their classmate’s existence due to the fact that any kindness has the student hoping for true friendship.
Very simply, Kindness is anything you wouldn’t mind done to you in your presence or behind your back. It’s a smile. It’s a wave. It’s asking how your day was. It’s the reassuring nod when you’ve kept talking for what feels like hours. It’s developing the working rapport to know that the adult is always going to be there. Kindness is the reassurance to go out on a limb to keep trying.
Kindness alone doesn’t prevent bullying. But it makes a place where bullying is less likely to thrive because everyone is seeing the positive benefits of growing together.
Before we leave, we have a video developed by ABC about #ChooseKindness
If your campus participates, try some #kindess on social media. It’s probably what everyone just wanted for their day.
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.