Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Know Their Name

A student walks into your classroom for the first time, what do you do? You ask them their name.

Why? We know that this is the first step in building a relationship with this student. When we learn their name it is a sign  of respect and shows that we are interested in who they are.

When I was a classroom teacher I would learn all 120 of my students names on the first day of school. I spent all day playing games and doing different activities so I could learn their names.  I knew I couldn't begin to build relationships with my students if I didn't even know their names.

Now that I am an administrator I have not just 120 students names to learn, but over 500! I used to make excuses and thought there was no way I could learn 500 names! However, as I enter my 3rd year as an assistant principal, there are 3rd graders I have known since they were in 1st grade and I still don't know all of their names. I am embarrassed to even admit that. They have been on my campus everyday for the last 2 years! There is no excuse!

I finally decided that it was time to stop making excuses. I say I am all about building student relationships, but how can I do that if I can't even call each student by their name?

Starting tomorrow (Aug 23) I am going to eat lunch with one class a day. During that time I will learn each of the student's names and something that is unique about each student. We have 26 classes and it will take me a little over 5 weeks to learn all 500 names. I am determined to do this and I know it will only build stronger relationships with my students and parents.

School leaders I hope you will join me!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stand Against Hate

The Kindness180 challenges are about making a difference in others lives. As educators we work hard to be positive and desire to build genuine relationships with our students, with those we work with, and with those we lead. That is the reason why I started the Kindness180 challenge. Showing kindness to others builds trust and makes us stronger and happier.

The 180 challenges, specifically are to push us out of our comfort zone and show kindness in a way that we don't typically think of. Showing an act of kindness doesn't always bring warm fuzzies and smiles. Sometimes showing acts of kindness is uncomfortable because it means refusing to stay silent and stand up for what is right.

The Challenge
Being an educator isn't always positive as we are forced to face difficult issues that we sometimes don't fully understand. During these times showing acts of kindness means being courageous enough to use our voice against those whose only goal is to spew hate against those who are different than them.

There are people who are so angry about these differences they are willing to bomb night clubs, government towers, go on mass shooting rampages, plow through people on the street, and that is just only a few of the hundreds of examples of the hell people face because they don't fit a certain mold.

What does that have to do with me? I would never do something like that. You are right. Most people who are reading a kindness blog aren't going to do something as extreme as what I have just listed.

However, are you stopping the "small" acts of unkindness you hear on a daily basis. Do you just stand silent? We can't turn a blind eye to these "small acts" any  longer. If we stand silent, we stand in agreement. We have to use our voice and say it's not ok,. These small acts of unkindness can lead up to the extreme acts I listed above.

When you see a person being mistreated for whatever reason, use your voice and say it is not ok! It is going to be uncomfortable. You may lose a friendship over it or even worse a family member. But we can no longer turn a blind eye to it simply because we don't want to cause a problem. The problem is already there! It will only continue to grow if you let it. Stop it in its tracks! If the roles were reversed, and you were the target, you would want someone to be the one to take a stand and defend you. Be the change. Be the one that says enough is enough. This world will never begin to heal if we don't take a stand against hate.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thank a Teacher

Type of Challenge
Random Act of Kindness

Teachers have been working tirelessly in their rooms and getting ready for the new year. Many of them have spent hundreds of dollars of their own money, and spent much of their summer vacation planning and preparing for the new year. Today let's show them how grateful we are for their hardworking and dedication!


Today I filled 65 bags of goodie that my principal and I are giving to our teachers next week! I can't share what is in them until the teachers open them, but I will post an update as soon as they open them! 

Play a Game with Your Family

Type of Challenge
Self Kindness

For today's challenge play a game with your friends or family

We had so much fun as a family playing games. We attempted to play Sorry but the boys over it within 5 minutes, so we quickly moved to Pie in the Face. This game terrifies me more than it should. LOL! The anticipation of not knowing if I was going to be slapped in the face with whip cream was almost too much to handle. Ok I am being a bit dramatic. Even though it wasn't my favorite my boys belly laughed when I got Pie in the Face, which made its all worth it. This is a self kindness challenge because I was able to slow down and just spend some quality time with my kids. The boys loved it and were excited to see their mom just be silly with them. 

The game of Sorry that was short lived. LOL! 

They much preferred the Pie in the Face game. 

School Challenge
Instead of sending a page of math problems home from homework, what if you sent this Kindness Challenge home instead. :) Families have busy schedules and this challenges families to slow down and have fun together! 

Write an encouraging letter to yourself

Type of Challenge
Self Kindness

Write an encouraging letter to yourself that you will open 3 months from now. 

Right now we are all pumped and ready for the school year to start. Classrooms are newly decorated, fresh school supplies bought, and we eagerly wait in anticipation to greet our students back to school. Fast forward 3 months...October. The changing of the seasons, the anticipation of halloween, and the honeymoon is officially over. As an assistant principal this is the time of year that I have the most office referrals. I welcome November 1 with open arms. For my letter I reminded myself of my why. I also reminded myself that I must continue to stay strong and positive and be the leader my teachers and students need me to be. I reminded myself to stay positive and that the energy I exude can directly impact the teachers and students on our campus. What encouraging words do you think you will need to read in 3 months? 

Classroom Adaption
Have your students write a letter to themselves on what their goals and dreams are. You can even have them include  how they plan on fulfilling these goals and dreams. In 3 months ( or whatever amount of time you think is appropriate) have them read their letter and ask themselves if they are still doing what it takes to fulfill these dreams. If not, this is a time to refocus and get back on track. We all need a little encouragement sometimes to keep fighting through life challenges in order to achieve our dreams. 

Do you have any other ideas on how you can use this personally or in your class? Share below! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beautify your Campus

Type of Challenge
Random Act of Kindness

Do one small act to help beautify your campus :) 


Oh this one was a doozie.😂 Do you see those harmless little wild plants in the picture? I thought that I would cut those down and clean up the weeds in the courtyard. Simple enough, right? Well, as I started my legs and hands started itching but I didn't think too much of it. It wasn't long until I had whelps on my hands and legs. My eyes started itching and or course I rubbed my left eye. Before I knew it that eye was watering and swelling and I couldn't stop itching. Right about that time my husband comes over to the school and I tell him that I am starting to breakout.  He tells me to stop and that I needed better tools anyways. . About 5 minutes later our high school summer grounds crew shows up and  they start cutting the plants/bushes/wild trees  down. Come to find out my husband went and found the crew and sent them over for me! 😄 I of course started laughing because I am a hot mess with watering/swollen eyes with whelps, and then here are these 16 year olds taking care of it like it's no big deal. Technically I did get the job done, just not how I had planned. 

Morale of the Story: If you do something to  beautify your campus make sure that you aren't going to harm yourself. (insert laughing emoji because it's just funny) 

Create Kindness Rocks

Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Create kindness rocks and then place them around your neighborhood for others to find!

Our kindness Rocks

We had a blast doing this challenge as a family. The boys used painted the rocks and I added the messages on them. We then went to the park and hid them. A couple of hours later we went to see if the rocks were still there and they were gone! The boys were so happy that someone took their rocks. 

You can click here for the link to the Kindness Rocks Project, if you are interested in where this idea originated from. This is an easy activity you can do with your students on the first day of school. School leaders, this is also something you can do as a team building activity that your teachers will enjoy! Comment below on how you can use this activity to show others kindness! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Image result for maya angelou forgive

Type of Challenge
Self Kindness

Today's Kindness180 challenge is to forgive. We have all been hurt by someone. Forgiveness is something that we should constantly do. If we are unwilling to forgive others than it causes anger and bitterness, which in turn causes us to build up emotional walls.

You might not be the person who started it, but you can be the person who ends it. The road to healing has to begin with someone. One of the challenges is to do something for someone that has hurt you. This shows that person that you are different. It shows them that you are able to forgive and move forward. Even forgiving this person, as hard as it might be, can be the act of kindness you do for them.  Remember kindness is not a feeling it is an action.