Week of Kindness - Host a Sweet Week!
It's a hard time to be a teacher! I see it on the news, hear it from friends, read it on facebook and witness it daily on social media. This school year is more difficult than ever. Students are more hopeless and brazen, less disciplined and focused, just to name a few of the problems! Teachers are tired, working so hard, trying to do and be everything, showing grace and love and feeling beat up at the same time. Some thing has to change!
“Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.”
– Charles Glassman
As Valentine’s approaches, some teachers will gear up and get ready for some love with cute notes, cards, decorations and other ways to promote some love and kindness in their class and at their school, that was me! Others who hate the day might ignore it and do nothing. As we all know, if we do nothing, nothing will change!
If you are one of those teachers who wants to take advantage of all the pink, hearts, flowers, candy, photo opportunities, fun filters, stuffed animals and all the feels, hosting a Sweet Week - A Week of Kindness with INTENTION - is for you!
As an activities director, my students and I were always trying to come up with fun ways to involve everyone for a positive culture and climate of inclusion, welcoming and family. Many students are down on Valentines, and we wanted to bring everyone up, especially in February when the mood can be low and people are just hanging on until Spring!
Years ago we held our first Sweet Week and it was a hit! Smiles, laughter, free giveaways, lots of candy, buttons and photos of pals in shades of red. I loved hearing stories of students sharing flowers with a staff member or extending a sucker to say they were sorry and make amends. I saw freshmen sitting with someone they didn't know, awkwardly reading the conversation starters to make a new friend. I was filled with joy as I visited our beloved choir teacher (on Shades of Red Day, of course) who won the raffle as her nominator (who wrote a lovely poem about her) proudly beamed by her side!
Hosting a Sweet Week is a great way to teach life skills with intentionality and focus on topics that are really important and often overlooked. As a teacher, we assume they get instruction on some of these topics as home. Parents think their students are learning about these life topics in school. Let's help our students by taking time out of the prescribed curriculum to be INTENTIONAL about things like kindness, empathy, compassion, generosity, friendship, forgiveness, service and love. Of course there are so many more great qualities, values and topics that we could focus on!
We can really empower our students is by giving them opportunities to be kind, thoughtful and teach them how to express these thoughts and feelings to others. I have created these FREE INTENTIONAL KINDNESS CARDS to print or share digitally with students during a week of kindness. Feel Free to click the photo to download and use in your class.
That's a good start, but what could be even more empowering?
WEEK of KINDNESS! Host a Sweet Week and turn the tides!
If you want to do this in your class, you can go for it on your own or ask a parent volunteer to help out! If you want to bring this to your entire school, gather a committee of adults or student leadership/council who will have a great time organizing, creating, choosing, making and executing the week! Below is what you will need to host a great week of kindness at your school. You can start with just a few of the elements and work up to an action packed week of events that will become a beloved tradition in your class or school!
How to Host a Week of Intentional Acts of Kindness!
- THEME - Choose the theme or topic for each day - it can be an abstract noun or a command. Example: Encouragement or Be Encouraging, Friendship or Make a New Friend!
- DECORATIONS - Changing the atmosphere really helps! Make cute decorations spreading love and encouragement. Hang hearts, positive quotes, streamers, so many possibilities!
- ADVERTISING - If you're doing a whole school event, make a calendar of the days, themes, challenges and activities. Give it a hashtag for social media fun.
- CHALLENGE - Challenge students to DO SOMETHING intentionally! Give them ideas and help them reflect on their actions.
- MINI-LESSON - Make a mini lesson to teach on the topics. Quotes to discuss, How to…How not to....Reasons to….Benefits of…The Science Behind, Discussion Questions and more will all guide learning!
- ACTIVITIES & GAMES - Come up with fun interactive activities and games for your class or for students who want to participate school wide to do at lunch. Minute to win it, bingo, musical chairs, partner games, karaoke are all fun to do at lunches with staff supervision. Friend Frenzy was a total hit! Our registrar divided the student body into 5 groups and assigned a number to each student so that more there would be 5 students with the same number. She gave a list with the numbers to each 1st period teacher and a master list to me. First period teachers gave out the numbers to students in their class verbally and had them write it down. Students were instructed to try to find 3 other students with the same number! A few groups managed to meet up, then they had to ask a few get to know each other questions. They came to me to confirm their numbers and introduce each other to me and each got a prize of candy, t shirt, cute stuffed animal, Dollar Tree items. Student ran around with numbers on their chest, wrote them on the door of their class, posted them on social media and surprised me with their excitement!
- FREEBIES - A free item really gets the kids involved. If within your budget, provide a freebie for the students to keep and one to give away. Stickers, cards, candy with a note, buttons, bracelets, flowers, etc. The cuter the better and a note attached helps make it meaningful! If just one class, you will want to have 2 per student if possible. If for the whole school, prepare for around 20 or 25% to participate. When they are gone, sorry!
- SPIRIT WEEK DRESS UP DAYS - If your school loves a Spirit Week - add dress up days and add to the fun! Twin Day, Shades of Red, Pink Day, Floral Day, Squad Day, Favorites Day are all popular. Be sure to take and share photos and challenge staff to get involved too!
- PHOTO OPPS - Along with great decorations, photo opportunities can make a week of kindness really fun and be a place where students will gather to show their spirit. Use the hashtag for the week to get some photos. Offer up a prize at the end of the week and do a random drawing of students who shared a photo.
- RAFFLE or CONTESTS - Make things really fun with a daily raffle or contest. Purchase 5 items that students will love. Plushies are a hit! Make a paper for students to nominate a friend who exemplifies the characteristic or topic of the day. Poetry Contest? Thank you note? Choose randomly or choose the best one. Deliver the prize by the end of the day! Take photos and cherish the smiles!
I love my kids and try to get photos of us together during the year which can be a challenge. During Sweet Week I ask my kids to get a filter ready and I run around to anyone who wants to take a selfie with me. The different filters are fun and then we have memories!
A Sweet Week of Intentional Acts of Kindness is what every school needs in February to help turn attitudes, hearts and minds in the right direction! This week of kindness will inspire positivity, build culture and community and help your school focus on what is good, right, kind, positive and just what we all need right now - love, sweet love! This week can happen at anytime, so I hope you will go for it!
If you need help with ideas or want a presentation that is ready to go with 5 themed days, mini lessons, activities, discussion questions, ideas for freebies, games, quotes and more all ready for you, check out my Sweet Week bundle in TpT!
Happy planning for an intentional week of kindness!
If you're short on time or energy - Sweet Week is almost entirely planned for you!