The Importance of Kindness

The Importance of Kindness

Saying these are challenging times is an understatement.  We all have had many times of struggle for various reasons in our lives.  Educators are facing what is sure to become one of the most challenging school years in history.  No matter how hard we try and how much we collaborate, we will never completely agree on the best steps to take for all children, staff, and families for this school year.

Everyone wants what is best for students and everyone is working the best they can to plan for success for all.  It is hard work.  The work often is overwhelming and when you feel you are getting ahead, you then get set back at times.  We must believe in the good of others.  We must remember that everyone has their own struggles that they will bring to their work.  Fears about the virus, concerns about childcare, a need for normalcy, a desire to make sure you are doing what is best for yourself, your family, and all those you interact with daily.  

We must remember during these unsettling times, the importance of kindness.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

Be Kind to Yourself

Self-care is vital and will continue to be so.  As the waters will likely roughen, we must all remember that if we are not taken care of, we cannot care of others.  Be mindful of your own needs.  We all have differing ways we focus on self-care.  For me, I find time with my family is what I need.  Time to go on a “family adventure” and occasionally time to escape my reality with a good show or movie.  Some people prefer to be outside enjoying nature, others shopping, and some in other ways.  Make time for yourself, for self-care.  Wellness programs have been amped up in some places recently and for a few years now.  Take advantage of them.  Educators in Vermont have access to many resources to assist with checking your own self care.  Invest EAP offers many free resources on their website (https://www.investeap.org/) or through a simple and free call.  These resources are available to individuals and family members.  If you haven’t done so already check out Stacey Shortle’s August 3 Rowland Blog, Find Your Green which discusses the need for self care to be able to assist others.

Be Kind to Others

We all have struggles and stressors that we may or may not wear for others to see.  Some are experiencing significant oppression, inequities, loss, or financial strain.  Some of us have more minor stressors but still things that impact us.  These things get seen in various ways if at all.  Always remember the golden rule, “do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”.  In that moment of stress, take a deep breath.  Remember to smile at others.  Do a kind deed.  Help someone.  Give.  Volunteer.  Stand up for an injustice.   

One kind deed can turn someone’s day around, it may even turn their life in a new direction.  Spread kindness above everything.  We are all in this together.  We must remember to always Choose Kind.  

Bianca McKeen is a 2016 Rowland Fellow and Associate Principal with a focus on Teaching and Learning at Rutland High School. Her fellowship work focused on creating service based internships for students in their community.  Bianca resides in Rutland with her husband and two children.

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