Inside: Use these Kindness Certificates to recognize and “reward” kind behavior so the positive reinforcement continues to encourage more kindness.
I’ll never forget the pride I felt when at the school assembly of 500+ kids, when my name was called out. I was being awarded the citizen of the month for my classroom.
Citizen of the month meant I had shown hard work and trustworthiness. I was a good friend, and friendly and helpful. I did my work and tried my best.
And for that one month, I was celebrated.
I felt so proud as I strode down the aisle to the stage to accept my certificate. And then I stood on stage a little taller as they took my picture for the front office.
Earning that award made me want to work a little harder and be an even better friend and be even more friendly and be even more helpful.
Because when kids are recognized and “rewarded” for any behavior, they’ll want to continue that behavior. And more importantly, the kids around them will also be motivated to continue that behavior so they can get a chance to be recognized and rewarded too.
If we want to encourage kindness and compassion and helpfulness, we can reward their kindness publically with these Kindness Certificates.
How Best to Encourage Kindness in Students
If we are teaching and encouraging our students to be kind, it can’t be a one time conversation or a one time lesson.
We can’t have one Kindness Assembly or Kindness Week.
Because just like with teaching reading skills, it can take months, if not years for the concept of kindness and compassion and thoughtfulness to sink in.
We can’t teach the alphabet or multiplication or PEMDAS once and expect mastery, and we can’t teach kindness once and expect mastery.
What works instead?
Intentionally, consistent continual conversations and lessons and reinforcement about kindness.
We can build Social Emotional Learning into our already busy lesson plans by connecting it to other academic areas like our Kindness Emergent Reader Bundle and our Kindness Alphabet Zoo Bundle and our Kind or Unkind Sorts that are perfect for holidays.
We need to make kindness a daily habit by normalizing kindness.
And we have to recognize and “reward” kindness when we see it so the positive reinforcement encourages more kindness from all of our students.
Being recognized for kindness in front of your peers-either in your classroom or in front of the school- is a big deal for our students. They’ll realize that kindness is as important as we say it is because we’re taking the time to reward them for it.
And one of the easiest ways to reward and recognize and then encourage more kindness in our schools is to use these Kindness Certificates.
How to Use these Kindness Certificates
Purchase and print these kindness certificates out on cardstock.
You can pre-print them so they’re ready to go or print them as needed and choose from one of the 20 designs.
There are different ways to use these kindness certificates:
1. Teachers/Yard Duty Staff can award them to students whenever they see above and beyond kindness.
2. Teachers can award one/two students a month who show exemplary kindness in their class. At the end of the year, 20 students will have been recognized.
3. Teachers can award students these certificates who have shown improvement in kindness. This is especially helpful for our youngest students and students who are reluctant to show kindness. But if we make a big deal of their kindness (even the smallest act of kindness) they will be encouraged to repeat those behaviors.
4. Administrators can award one to each student from each class during monthly school assemblies to focus on and encourage more school-wide kindness. This makes kindness an on-going school-wide goal, not just a poster that hangs in the hallways.
Because we can all use more kindness in our schools.
Ready to Get these Kindness Certificates and Start Using Them?