Kindness and SEL

By November 22, 2016April 28th, 2017No Comments

Saima Qadree, Elementary School Team Lead

Kindness. It seems like there isn’t enough of it to go around these days. But if you look just below the surface, you will find small examples of it everywhere. Look at a child who comforts and soothes his peer who just fell on the playground.

Find it in the form of a compliment given at the right moment on a day where nothing seems to go right. Kindness doesn’t have to present itself in the form of sweeping and grandiose gestures. Examples of small acts of kindness are all around us if we only open our eyes to them.

I recently started working for Frameworks but this organization and its mission and vision has been no stranger to me. During my first week at Frameworks, I had the chance to visit Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School where our organization has had a consistent presence for several years. During my day long visit, I saw so many small but valuable acts of unexpected kindness from the kids and adults. In a second grade classroom, students were in the middle of center time and one child was struggling with staying on task. Without intervention or direction from the teacher, the students in his group helped him correct his choices and involved him in the group game. I saw students and teachers support and praise the PATHS® Staff of the Day, the music teacher, who had an abundance of compliments posted on her compliment certificate and proudly wore an embroidered stole around her neck showcasing her pride in being selected as the Staff of the Day. In these small ways, and countless others, the culture of the school has shifted for the better over the years.

Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School has adapted and infused the PATHS® or Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies program into their day to day work with their K-5th grade students. PATHS® is an evidence-based social emotional learning program that helps children resolve conflicts peacefully, handle emotions positively, make responsible decisions, and empathize. Students are able to identify comfortable and uncomfortable feelings and manage how they express those feelings. Over time, as SEL programs and concepts infuse into the day to day culture of the school, the culture shifts in a positive direction. Kindness becomes the norm and not the exception.