Chances are you became a counselor because you enjoy helping people (especially students) and you have a passion for education. Your commitment and hard work may feel unappreciated at times, but know that the impact you make on the lives you touch each and every day is long lasting.
That is why it is so important to remember to not only tell your students to be tolerant of others, but to also show them how to be kind, caring and sensitive to their peers. Lead by example!
Here are 5 things you can do to spread a little kindness in your school, starting today!
It sounds so simple, but walking around with a smile on your face can do wonders for the soul — both yours and the students who see you. Having a positive attitude (regardless of what may be going on in your personal life or the meeting you’ve been dreading all week) will be contagious.
Use your manners.
Always say “please” and “thank you.” Again, it sounds so simple, but a little goes a long way. Say “please” every time you ask someone to do something (yes, even students). Reply with a “thank you” every time someone holds the door for you, completes an assignment or does something kind. And most importantly, acknowledge students who use their manners as well. Reinforcing good behavior will only promote more of it!
Patience doesn’t come easy for everyone, but teachers and counselors alike must be patient with their students and each other. Having patience doesn’t mean you ignore deadlines or important timelines, (especially when it comes to helping your students apply to colleges!) but it does mean offering gentle reminders, calmly explaining why timeliness matters and being clear about expectations without intimidating others.
Acknowledge Super Teens!
NextStepU loves to honor teens who do super things, both in school and in their communities, and you can, too! Not only can you nominate your students for our Super Teens contest, but you can start a program of your own. Start by asking students to nominate each other; ask them to recognize a friend or peer who deserves recognition. Then, pick a winner every month and honor your very own Super Teens with a certificate and/or special prize.To nominate students for the NextStepU Super Teens contest, visit www.NextStepU.com/SuperTeens.
Honor great school leaders.
Why stop with the kids? Teachers, counselors, administrators and staff work hard to make a positive impact, too. Ask students, faculty and staff to nominate school leaders who go the extra mile. Not only will the adults appreciate the love, but students will get to see how rewarding it can be to be positive, work hard and help others. At NextStepU, we also honor Super Counselors like you! Find out more about our Super Counselors contest at www.NextStepU.com/Counselor.
Practice these simple acts of kindness and watch your students take notice. Lead by example and you will see how quickly your kindness will spread!