Did you forget about the faculty meeting this morning? Did you walk in to discover your heater isn’t working? Are you trying to wrap your head around how you’ll get another student in your fifth period, bringing your total to 39 students? Don’t worry. These teacher stories about student kindness will fix all of that.
(OK, maybe they won’t—but they’ll definitely warm your heart.)
With all the challenges that teachers are expected to manage and the daily fires we put out, it’s easy to miss the small victories of generosity and compassion. Today, we’re sharing the top stories of student kindness teachers have had the privilege to observe. From bug crews to wish granters, these stories remind us that kindness knows no age limit.
Have some Kleenex handy, folks!
“My 10th grade students had to create a presentation on an enduring issue.”
“One of my students chose mental health and revealed that he struggles with his own mental health. He started to get emotional and several students stood up, walked right to him, and hugged him. And one by one, most of my students got up and they all huddled around him just embracing one another. I cried when it happened and I’m tearing up as I write it now. An act of student kindness, a gesture of compassion … the world needs more of this.”
“When we have someone absent, I’ve seen my students pull out that peer’s notebook and take notes or glue in anchor charts so when they come back they can pick up right where we are.”
“They love helping their peers.”
“A couple of weeks ago during reading groups, one of my first grade boys leaned over to another boy and said, ‘M—, I like having you as a friend. The world needs a friend like you.’”
“This same little guy stopped in the hallway a few weeks ago because he saw a kindergartner struggling to get ready for recess, so he helped the kindergartner zip up his coat and waited to walk out to recess with him.”
“We had a student rejoin our class after being removed from his class due to his extreme behavior.”
“I let my class know who was joining us so they weren’t shocked, and we talked about how everyone deserves a chance to be in a place where they are loved and can learn, and how we could be role models to show him what good choices look and sound like. The next day on his desk was a note and some candy from a student, welcoming him to our class. It made my heart melt.”
“I have a ‘bug crew’ that takes the big spiders and critters back out.”
“Some classmates are very scared so then everyone can concentrate on learning.”
“In my freshman leadership class, students work on public speaking.”
“Their first speech is a 2-to-3-minute speech simply telling the class about themselves. Most of them do an autobiographical speech, or an embarrassing moment, or a great trip they took. Sometimes a student gets very personal. As you can imagine, it is difficult for these students to make it through their speeches and difficult for others to hear. There were times when we all cried. I was never so proud as when I saw my students quietly get up to comfort, hold, and just be there for a fellow student.”
“My brother, age 37, passed away in May 1992.”
“My students had been writing him letters, creating cards for him, sang Happy Birthday to him on his birthday. When I announced that he had passed away, and my voice cracked, one boy, Gary, called out group hug. The class of 32 fourth graders came up to me and we all hugged for a while. A perfect moment.”
“At the end of last year, a bunch of students had bought ‘lunch with the teacher.'”
“One student used all his Eagle bucks to buy the privilege for the kids who didn’t have enough so the whole class could eat together in the classroom. (With me!)”
“Many years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to teach the most extraordinary class of students I fondly referred to as my Peaches.”
“One day during lunch, one of my students quietly brought a backpack filled with clothing and another backpack filled with school supplies and snacks … to share with a student in need. I will never forget the kindness and generosity of this student and his family, for all of my life.”
“I have students who will ask if they can fill in their classmate’s guided notes as we do them in class because that classmate has gone to the bathroom.”
“A lot of the time, these are kids who don’t even hang out with each other outside of class. They’re just being kind.”
“My student helped one of our Life Skills students check out a library book.”
“Then he and a group of friends sat around and read to him. The smile on the student’s face was priceless!”
“The brother of one of my students was diagnosed with a serious, degenerative illness.”
“The rest of the class got together to fundraise money for the whole family to go on his dream trip to Disney World before his condition deteriorated and prevented him from going.”
See? Didn’t these stories of student kindness make you forget you missed the faculty meeting this morning?
Our job here is done.