By Nam Ngo Thanh, TeachSDGs Founding Ambassador, Vietnam
Why did I decide to do this project?
As a teacher or parent, what do you care about when your child goes to school? When asked this question, 90% of the time I received the answer: "I want kids to have good academic results." This is a perfectly reasonable expectation. However, the school, the family, and the society teaches many other things. Sometimes a child's success in the future is not determined by the knowledge they have.
At present, in Vietnam and in many countries in general, school violence is happening more and more severely. We are anxious, but there is not much action to take root to end this situation. Personally, I think that once people treat each other kindly, society will be better.
Scientific studies show that kindness brings a lot of physical and mental benefits, and children need a healthy dose of warmth to be able to grow into healthy individuals--fun and perfect. Children as well as teens cannot learn kindness just by thinking or talking about it. Kindness is learned through perception and then is distributed. That feeling is when they are doing the right thing. So, who will teach children kindness?
It's me, you, and this society. The Everyday Kindness Project aims to bring children the value of goodness in life. Throughout the project, I also realized that kindness is the root of what we can achieve with the Global Goals. Since its inception, the project has received the attention and support of many teachers around the globe, especially the support of the Varkey Teacher Ambassadors.
What are the objectives of the project?
5 WEEKS: 1 MISSION
*Week 1: Building knowledge
- Students watch videos of kindness
- Discussion together
+ What is kindness?
+ What actions are considered kind? (Some kind actions you can suggest to your students if they need your help: caring for themselves, helping their parents, helping their friends, scavenging, etc.)
*Week 2, 3, 4: Kind action
- Students will perform kind works everywhere, such as at home, at school, in public, etc. These actions need to be recorded in photos, videos, kind stories, etc. Therefore, you should work with parents on a weekly basis by sending parents a weekly action sheet. This form will be sent to parents at the beginning of the week and will be sent back to the teacher on weekends. Parents can send for you photos, videos, their kids' story via email, message.
- At the end of each week, teachers will review and commend students for doing a lot of good work. I suggested that teachers print their pictures and paste the corner of the class as a way to advertise them.
*Week 5: Skype-a-thon about Kindness
To help students share the kind work they have done as well as listen to their friends' stories from other classes, I encourage you to participate in the Skype-a-thon week for students to have chance to connect with other classes around the globe. I think that beautiful action should be widely shared. Skype-a-thon is also an opportunity for students to learn the culture of other countries around the globe. You can also have your student connect with another teacher to share if you do not find a class that shares the same time zone.
*Bonus week: Kindness Day (optional)
In Kindness Day, you call on all students, parents, and staff in your school to raise money, clothes, food, books, etc. to help children in difficult places. This is the way students learn the way to share difficult with others.
What do students say about this project?
"I feel I am a useful person."
"I understand parents’ hard work."
"I'm happy to help everyone."
"I'm proud of myself."
That's the feeling of the students when participating in the Everyday Kindness Project. Throughout the project, the children learned about their parents' struggles, their parents' concerns, and their concern for those around them. These are the great effects that the project did during five weeks. In the lines of students’ feelings, doing kindness just to see the smile of parents, make parents happy, makes people around happy, but most important, "find themselves useful" is what makes them happiest and most proud of themselves. Join us to spread kindness to the people around you!
Complete this form if you want to be a part of this project.
Nam Ngo Thanh (@mrnamvas) works as a primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. He is also a Microsoft Learning Consultant and Varkey Teacher Ambassdor. He has authored multiple articles, and he been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. As well as being a Top 40 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2018, he was also named Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and the winner of the 2018 Global Collaboration PLN Award.