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Is Kindness Just a Trend? - Principal Tribe

PRINCIPAL PERSPECTIVES 

Principal Tribe Features Allyson Apsey

-  Allyson Apsey  -

 Principal of Quincy Elementary, Michigan. Author. National Speaker. Loving, Learning, and Laughing.

Is Kindness Just a Trend?

Principal Perspectives #7, February 18, 2019

How does kindness create the schools we need? Is kindness even a concept for leadership? In this Principal Persepctives, we'll highlight the work of Allyson Apsey and show 4 ways leading with kindness can impact your school community.

The Value of Kindness

These are interesting times that we live in. As the digital world continues to grow and expand, so does the worry that we, as a society, are becoming more disconnected, selfish and isolated. We seem to be living in a society that is dictated by selfies and expendable human interactions, making many of us wonder if there is any caring and compassion at all left in the human race.

Of course, with every societal “movement” comes a counter-movement.

Kindness enters the stage, and I might add, is receiving rave reviews. Books, movies, talks, and courses abound on the topic, but it has also become the marketing darling of the media and consumer industry. Could this be just another money making trend for a disconnected world? Maybe. Or maybe not.

How to Use Kindness as a Principal - Principal Tribe

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Despite its perceived trendiness, this movement is very real and creating fundamental changes within our communities. Kindness is an active concept, it is something we do as opposed to a concept like happiness which is more passive.

As we all know, it is through action, particularly exemplary action, that we can best lead our school communities.

Yet how can we move from simply throwing the word “kindness” around to creating impactful change through it? How can we best teach kindness at its deepest level?

Kindness is an active concept. It is through action, particularly exemplary action, that we can best lead our school communities.

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Focus on Actions from the Heart

The Principal Perspective

I am not naturally thoughtful. I care deeply about people, but thoughtful gestures do not come naturally to me. I am going to be very deliberate about random acts of kindness this month to work to build a habit of doing thoughtful gestures. - Allyson Apsey

This is why practicing kindness is one of the best ways to become a great school leader. Kindness is heart centered action achieving its highest potential, which is key to creating positive change.

Let's dig into 4 ways you can lead and teach the deeper meaning of kindness in your schools, communities, and circles.

1. Feel the Emotion of Kindness

The Principal Perspective

"Acts of kindness benefit both the giver and the recipient...help students learn the value of kindness." - Allyson Apsey

It has been said that acts of kindness benefit both the giver and the receiver. Think about the last time you did something kind for someone. How did that make you feel?

Now think of a time when someone was kind to you. Feel the emotions that surface with both.

Do you see how they affect you? It is an elevation of the soul felt in different ways. By practicing this exercise even for just a few minutes every day, you will see how it opens up your capacity for kindness 10 fold.

The inspiration for kindness doesn’t just fall out of the sky as we are walking along on our merry way. It requires us to be looking at the world with our hearts and eyes wide open.

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2. Raise Awareness

The Principal Perspective

Thanks to an idea from a fellow [Principal in Action], our weekly video announcements now include a challenge for all students from our student leadership team. The challenge is focused on relationship-building and being kind. These students serve as wonderful kindness role models! - Allyson Apsey

The inspiration for kindness doesn’t just fall out of the sky as we are walking along on our merry way. It requires us to be looking at the world with our hearts and eyes wide open. To really be aware of the other people around us and truly see their suffering.

This can bring up a lot of inhibitions. However, being a hero in today’s world requires us to force ourselves past those inhibitions and not look away.

Try practicing conscious awareness of your environment and the people around you on a regular basis. You will be surprised at how often you are given the chance to improve someone’s life.

By creating these habits among our students, it helps to put kindness at the forefront of daily actions, and before long it becomes an ingrained part of our life and who we are. 

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3. Be Kind To Yourself

The best place to start is with yourself. Do you treat yourself kindly? Are you gentle with yourself? Kindness to yourself in one of the best ways to set an example. As you create this habit it also sets the stage for how you begin to treat other people around you.

The more kind you are to yourself, the more apt you are to show kindness to others.

4. Create a Kindness Habit

The Principal Perspective

Call to action: Let’s put kindness into action right now. Tweet out a thank you to someone who has shown kindness to you. - Allyson Apsey

There are many movements within the educational community that are focusing on having their students perform acts of kindness. Allyson Apsey is a school principal who has been a leader in this area, often encouraging her community to create a habit of thoughtful gestures and regular kindness calls to action.

By creating these habits among our students it helps to put kindness at the forefront of daily actions, and before long it becomes an ingrained part of our life and who we are. That is in fact one of the most important things we can do to create positive change in this world.

Connect with Allyson at allysonapsey.com and follow on Twitter @AllysonApsey. Preview her works below on Amazon.

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Copyright 2019 Principal Tribe. Author Matt Foster; Writer Chrissie Bettencourt; Editor Principal Tribe

About the author

Principal Tribe Editor

Principal Tribe is connecting and amplifying the voices of principals and school leaders. Focusing on school leadership, educational research, and learning.

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