Nov. 19, 2019 -- Last week, Oxford Elementary celebrated Kindness Week. Teachers gathered in the early morning, wearing matching kindness t-shirts, to pose for a group photo in front of a poster that proclaimed, “be the ‘I’ in kind.” As teachers returned to their classrooms, second-grade teacher Amy Robinson gifted her colleagues with a recital of warm and encouraging words that she prepared to recite to her students throughout the day.
Acts of kindness extend far beyond Kindness Week at Oxford Elementary. The building’s theme of the year is “Kindness Begins with Me,” a part of the school’s climate goal as outlined by TAP (Teacher-Administrative Partnership). “Kindness Begins with Me” posters can be found throughout common areas of the building encouraging and detailing the expectations of students to remain safe, respectful, and responsible. Students are also encouraged to be “caught with kindness.”
Caught with Kindness is a schoolwide challenge that calls for students to perform random acts of kindness towards others each day. Students can be recognized or “caught” for their acts of kindness by any teacher or staff in the building besides their homeroom teacher. Once caught, a teacher places that student’s names into the Positive Referral Box for the student to be recognized during the morning announcements. Caught with Kindness winners are invited to a celebration at the end of the month, where they get to discuss their acts of kindness with the TAP team, enjoy a special treat, and get their picture taken. Previous winners have been celebrated with cupcakes and pizza parties.
Oxford is proud to encourage, celebrate, and showcase its students for serving as leaders of kindness. Their main hallway is decorated with the images of all the Caught with Kindness winners, student pledges that detail how students plan to commit acts of kindness, and various interactive kindness themed posters that students and families take selfies in front of. Teachers are doing their best to make kindness an important part of each day and are hoping for students to recognize that when they let kindness begin with themselves, everyone’s day is a little better.
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