In the last few months I have tried to stay connected and informed with educational leadership and the world around me through my love of reading. Some of my reading has inspired me and some has concerned me (such as newspaper headlines!). The reading that has inspired me the most has been inspirational quotes and articles sharing how educators are working so hard to provide instruction to students in these difficult times.
One quote that I keep coming back to is:
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. Henry James
The importance of kindness may be hard to explain to our students if they are watching the news. Therefore I have been interested in how we can help the people we work with and ultimately the students in our schools understand the importance of kindness during these turbulent times. One resource that I flagged was How Purposeful Kindness Can Make You A Better Leader, Forbes, Oct 24, 2018 which discusses the connection between kindness and leadership and how it can increase employee performance. David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom reference the work of Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy in their article. They state that she and her research partners have found that “leaders who project warmth are more effective than people who lead with toughness, Basically, kindness and warmth appears to accelerate trust.” Forbes, Oct 24, 2018.
Another great resource is from is from Delaware’s own Wendy Turner. Wendy is second grade teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in the Brandywine School District. She was the 2017 Delaware Teacher of the Year. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit her room in 2018 and was amazed by both her classroom and her relationships and interactions with her students. She shares the importance of these interactions in her article Social-Emotional Learning: Not Just for Kids. You can also hear an interview with Wendy on this site.
In the meantime I plan to think about this quote as I work with educators throughout the day:
“When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.” -Harold Kushner
As educators we have the opportunity to change the world each day.
Until next time, happy reading.