Thoughtfulness is acting with thought and good sense. An important component of thoughtfulness is showing concern.
The 3 tools that can be used in the classroom to inculcate thoughtfulness about the right things among the students.
1. Be a helping hand
Being helpful means doing all it takes to care for others, be it your family, friends or community. It is a gesture of showing concern out of kindness. There are many ways children can be taught to be helpful. Children repeat words and actions they admire hence the best way to teach students to be helpful is by example. Children want to be involved. The teacher should start encouraging them to find ways to help others. Get along with the students and ask them to help in rearranging the tables and chairs, put up the charts in the classroom, emptying the dustbins, and put them in proper places. Do some activities in the classroom to stimulate creativity and get everyone involved in active ways. The children learn and begin to help others.
2. Celebration of togetherness
We live in a country with diversity. Students come from different religious backgrounds and cultures. Every culture and religion has its own faiths and beliefs, and the children should be taught to respect every religion. The best way to learn about other cultures is by celebrating the festivals together. Celebrating or talking about other religions allows the students to appreciate and respect others' faith. It is the best way to make them understand the fact that all religions spread peace and respect. Students come together to celebrate the festivals in the school. In this way, they become thoughtful and kind towards everyone without any kind of discrimination.
3. Get to know each other
Every student is different. Still, they all are equal in the eyes of a teacher. Children come from different backgrounds. To understand the students better, a teacher needs to spend individual time and communicate with the students. It helps to develop an awareness of students' challenges and needs. In this way, a teacher can help the students. When the teacher and the students have a better understanding, they build trust. Every individual feels genuinely valued for who they are and what they contribute as a unique individual.
Understanding is the agreement of opinions or feelings. It's the adjustment of differences. To be understanding towards the world around you, you need to develop empathy.
Here is one of the many classroom activities that can be performed to encourage empathy among the students.
Kindness is a natural human response that doesn't need much encouragement. However, it is something that should be practised regularly. Kindness and empathy can be taught in the classroom.
Circle time is one of the activities that can be conducted in the classroom to encourage understanding of the world to the children.
This activity can be performed in the classroom or outside on the ground. Ask the students to sit in a circle. Every child should have a paper and pen where they have to write.
Someone you helped on that day
Somebody helped you on that day.
It can be any big or small act of help. After writing, they all will share about it in the circle one by one. Other students must listen quietly. As everyone shares their incidents, they can relate them to one another and experience different emotions. They understand what it feels like to help someone and how it feels when someone helps you in need. In the end, the children will come to the centre one by one and speak out about anyone emotion they felt or understood during the session and all those who felt the same emotion will raise their hands.
This activity is a good way to encourage understanding and kindness among the students. Sharing nice and positive things with others makes them feel heard and affirmed by others.
- Neelam Bhardwaj @JMMS, John Martyn Memorial School, Salangaon, Dehradun