Inside: Use this interactive bulletin board to encourage more kindness in your classroom or school and make kindness more of a daily habit.
When I taught at my second school, we got a “must place” principal. His last school didn’t want him anymore and he was forced to leave but he was protected, couldn’t be fired, and needed a spot.
Instead of hiring our dream principal that we all always wanted, we got TK.
And the first year was rocky. He would pop in unannounced with his clipboard, scribble something ominous down, leave a note on my desk without a smile, and then disappear into my room partner’s room to do the same thing.
Often times the notes were positive like “Loved the interaction in your lesson plan,” or “Your room environment was inviting…love your poetry board,” or “That was a great lesson.”
And slowly, I stopped hating his drop-in visits even though they still often felt ominous.
But it also served as a powerful reminder that written encouragement is a proven method of positive reinforcement to continue the behaviors you want to see in other people.
So I took his little notes on my desk idea and turned them into something positive for my students. We already had a compliment box for them to fill out notes privately to each other.
But I added an interactive bulletin board to my classroom that was seasonal and themed where students (and other adults who clearly already like to write notes) could write down what kind things they saw each other doing.
It was a way for my students to publically call each other out for being kind and helpful and thoughtful and compassionate and it had the magic effect of making kindness a habit for more of my students.
Making Kindness a Habit in our Schools
If we want to focus on sel and character education in our schools and classrooms we have to teach it like we teach any other subject or concept.
We know we can’t teach kids the alphabet in a week and expect them to master it. We can’t teach multiplication or PEMDAS or critical thinking in a week.
This is why Kindness Week doesn’t work for ensuring our kids master how to speak and act with kindness.
Instead, we have to be consistent. We have to be intentional. We have to build in reminders and reviews and praise progress.
This is how we make kindness a habit and a normal part of their everyday lives.
But it can be hard to find ways to build sel curriculum into your lesson plans when you already have curriculum you’re required to teach to mastery.
But we can also use this interactive bulletin board to encourage, praise, and showcase kind acts.
How to Use the Interactive Bulletin Board to Encourage More Kindness
1. Download and print the kindness bulletin board printable (download below).
2. You can print out the letters on colored card stock and cut them out, use die cut letters or make your own sign with the saying.
3. Cut out a set of rulers and have them ready for students.
4. As students do something kind, write what they did on the ruler, or have them write what they did and add it to the bulletin board. Students can write what another student did to help them or when they saw someone else showcasing kindness.
Remind students what kindness looks and sounds like.
5. Ask the yard/lunch staff, support staff and administration, to help you be on the lookout for kind kids in your classroom and invite them to fill out rulers for your students and post them to the board.
6. You can announce the kind act and make a big deal of it or you can quietly post them and remind students to read them when they have a free minute.
7. See how many acts of kindness your class can do in a month.
8. Next month, change the bulletin board to another thematic kindness bulletin board and challenge your students to beat the number from previous months.
Get our Year of Interactive Kindness Bulletin Boards Bundle here so you can change up the Kindness Rules board. It includes a thematic board for 12 months of school:
August – fish
September – school supplies
December – presents
June – sunglasses
July – popsicles
Try it before you buy it with our Kindness Rules freebie Notebook: