“If you do good, you’ll feel good.”
                                                                                        –Ann Curry, Television journalist

 We often hear about random acts of kindness.  And I get what they mean, of course. These gracious gestures should be unexpected, spontaneous, serendipitous. Because that’s always fun.  But my feeling is, why must they be random? Why can’t they be conscious acts of kindness, created and executed by design, a habit of giving that we nurture and cultivate.  If kindness became manner of traveling instead of random and isolated bumps along the road how, I wonder, would that change our path?

So here, as promised yesterday, is a list of ways to be kind both inside and outside the classroom that can help make kindness a part of your journey:

 Be present in the moment with your children as they tell the stories of their day.

Thank someone.

–Smile.  Then do it again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  All day. To everyone.

–Hang back and let that other driver in.  Make this your driving default position.

Give a student an old book you think he or she might like.

Put old binders and office supplies on your desk with a sign that says “Free to a Good Home.”

Take the time to write someone a note, instead of merely sending a text or email.

Ask a colleague how he or she is doing. . .really. . . .and then listen to the answer.

Paraphrase and repeat back what someone has said so they feel listened to.

Think about writing that snarky comment on that on-line article or Facebook thread. And then don’t.

Bring a plate of cookies to a convalescent/nursing home. I did this with my daughters and highly   
  recommend it.

Breathe before speaking.

Come to someone’s metaphorical rescue.

Come to someone’s literal rescue.

Say a prayer for the people broken down on the side of the road.

Give up control of the remote.  No, really.

Walk the shopping cart back to the shopping cart holder-thingy.

Do something nice anonymously. Then smile like the Cheshire Cat.

Speak one fewer complaint today.  If everyone did just this, think of the number of complaints that would 
  be missing from the world.

Resist the burning temptation to go for your phone when someone is talking.



–Have a friend going through a tough time?  Burn a CD (do we still do this?) with his or her favorite songs.

Hug who will hug you.

Call your parents.

Comment an another teacher’s blog. Not necessarily this one. Okay, maybe this one. Okay, just go to the 
  bottom of this post and start typing.

Hold the door.

Say thank you to the unsung heroes of your school–janitors, groundskeepers, secretaries, cafeteria 

Offer the technician some ice water or cookies. Or both.

Lend your umbrella to an umbrella-less student.

See that lemonade stand on the corner run by those adorable kids?  Drink up!

Don’t take your frustration with the organization out on the person answering the phone. Or even the 
  customer service representative who helps you. They didn’t cause the problem.

Practice patience with those who most test your patience.

Make sure a piece of trash that wasn’t yours finds its way to a receptacle.

Google “Acts of Kindness.”

Put extra snacks in your file cabinet for your hungry kids. This is a staple of my classroom.

Tell someone when you overheard someone else say something nice about them.  

Before reacting to a student’s misbehavior, stop to consider the story and motivation behind the outburst.

Figure out a thing that’s on your spouse’s To-Do List and then do it so he or she doesn’t have to.

Give the old baby clothes in the garage to someone who you know might need them. Notice I said give, 
  not sell.

Let someone else have their way.

Keep your word.

Feed your family, feed your neighbors, feed your students, feed the homeless, feed yourself.

Feed your mind, feed your soul, feed your spirit.

And perhaps, most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself by gifting yourself with enough time in 
  your day so you feel less rushed, less stressed, and more in control. 

–Lastly, make your own list.

Cultivating kindness as a way of life is both fulfilling and, in many ways, subversive. 

So be a rebel.

Be kind. TZT