Kindness Advent Calendar: A Ripple of Goodwill

I want to share why you should introduce a Kindness Advent Calendar.

“Kindness, an integral part of a teacher’s role, holds immeasurable power in shaping pupils’ lives. Learn about the transformative journey of introducing a Kindness Advent Calendar that transcends simple acts into powerful stories, fostering a culture of compassion and unity. Join me in reflecting on the profound impact of kindness and how it can be a guiding light in today’s world, uniting us amidst seemingly widening divides.”

A big part of being a teacher or school leader is supporting our pupils and their personal development. Kindness was often a topic of conversation as it is one of the easiest things to do and arguably can have the most significant impact on everyone.

One of my interview tasks for my headship was to lead an assembly, so I chose to speak about random acts of kindness. This was more than just a topic to help me secure a position. It was a belief, an ethos I wanted to embed in the very fabric of the school’s culture.

One thing I did as a head teacher for the whole school was to introduce a Kindness Advent Calendar. The idea was simple yet powerful. Every day in December, children were given a unique act of kindness to perform. These weren’t grand gestures but simple, everyday deeds:

But what made this tradition particular wasn’t just the act itself but the stories that emerged from these actions.

The thing I enjoyed about this the most was when pupils would come rushing to me, sharing tales of their daily kind acts. They’d speak of the elderly neighbour, who they had made a Christmas card, writing them a thank you note explaining how much it meant to them and how special it was. Or the sheer joy of a classmate who found an unexpected note of encouragement put in their tray. Each day, I heard many smiling children sharing what they had done and how happy the recipient was.

But what I found memorable and unexpected was the ripple effect. I started receiving emails from parents, or they’d catch me at the school gate explaining how proud they were of their child, how they were excited about what they had done for someone else and what they would do next. One simple act of kindness often led to another, creating a cascade of goodwill. For December, my entire school was exchanging kindness like it was the most precious currency in the world.

I want to think that over time, the Kindness Advent Calendar did more than instil a sense of goodwill during the festive season; it gave my pupils new habits. Relationships strengthened, mutual respect grew, and empathy and understanding improved. It wasn’t just about being kind in December; it was about embedding kindness into our daily lives, making it a habit, a way of life. Looking back, as an ex-headteacher, this is one of the memories I think of and smile.

In today’s world, where headlines often focus on divisions and disparities, let’s not forget the unparalleled power of kindness. It costs nothing, requires no expertise, and has the potential to change the world. As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Conclusion: Kindness Advent Calendar

“Foster a culture of kindness in schools with the power of simple gestures. Explore the impact of a Kindness Advent Calendar and the enduring effects of embedding compassion as a way of life. Join us in cultivating a more empathetic world through the profound influence of small acts of kindness.”

Craig McKee FCCT

Twitter @CraigMcKeeEdu

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Thank you for your kindness

Your Kindness Coach


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