October 28, 2020

Teaching Citizenship Skills to Enhance Kindness

GoGuardian Team
A girl makes a heart shape with her hands

When it comes to developing your lessons, it is important to allocate time to implement life skills necessary inside and outside the classroom environment. There is an educational need to create a culture of kindness, responsibility and respect among the students, especially at an early age. By incorporating these good digital citizenship skills into your lesson plans, you can also help teach students how to be kinder toward others.

The Value of Good Citizenship

When children develop the skills of valuing and respecting cultural differences, there are lower chances of bullying and cyberbullying. A study revealed that African American and Latino youths reported high discrimination and peer victimization levels. According to the researchers, individuals prefer to be around others with their similarities. Language, color, or general appearance are reasons for perceived discrimination among students. To help students develop good citizenship skills, teachers must incorporate activities into the lesson plans to discuss the positive outcomes of diversity. For example, ask students to share their cultures through music or art. This establishes common interests for diverse students but also teaches learners to respect other cultures by giving them a platform.

The Strength of Confidence

We want all of our students to feel enough confidence to stand up for themselves against bullies. As cyberbully cases continue to rise, reporting is crucial to prevent similar incidents from escalating. The majority of cyberbullying cases begin at school, but special reporting tools enable students to report potential incidents happening to them or their peers anonymously. Depending on the program, students can send their reports to the teacher they trust the most.

The Importance of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important skill that every digital citizen must possess because it builds kindness. Unfortunately, many educators overlook teaching meditation and relaxation techniques. Teaching these skills promotes kindness among peers and minimizes tension in the classroom significantly. For example, basic yoga studies have been adapted to help learners manage their moods, stress, and enhance their ability to self-regulate tension.

The Role of Digital Posters

A little touch of creativity in the classroom could foster the kind and responsible attributes of students. Make it a team project, and encourage students to develop their creative posters, emphasizing respect and integrity. By inviting their input, you help them feel empowered to voice their ideas. Similarly, digital posters are technology-based. Websites like Google Slides, Glogster, and Canva offer student’s creative content that can be shared online or printed.

Empowering Classroom Standards

Hate speech and cyberbullying cases are becoming more rampant with each grade level. Forty-four percent of students report having been bullied in the last 30 days. When you encounter these issues as an educator, empower your students by setting the standard. For example, there are benefits to avoiding the conflict altogether. Along with your School Counselor, offer scenarios and best practices to prepare if events happen.

Discuss the Consequences

Teaching digital citizenship skills in the classroom must involve showing the rewards for being kind, respectful, and responsible when using different online platforms. Similarly, highlighting the dangers and the repercussions of unruly online behaviors can be an effective way of encouraging kindness among the students.

Turn Blogs into Lessons

Students enjoy sharing their personal experiences. As a teacher, take advantage and encourage learners to blog about the positive things they witness in the classroom. There are platforms like Kidblog, Edublogs, WordPress, and Blogger where students can showcase their writing skills while practicing giving positive feedback to their peers.

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness is a dedicated website where teachers can lead students to find ideas for upholding kindness outside the classroom. It is easy for teachers to complete, with downloadable lesson plans, conversation starters and project ideas. You can also create a kindness club within your school and teach tips for conflict resolution.

Be Good, Kind Citizens

Citizenship is an essential element of society and equally integral in a classroom environment. Students who acquire citizenship skills early develop a commitment to doing well in their communities. According to Kaplan Early Learning, teaching citizenship in the classroom allows learners to know the difference between being a citizen and being a good citizen. Teaching students the citizenship components—respect, responsibility, compassion, honesty, courage, and kindness—empowers them to contribute positively to their immediate environment. Teachers can utilize GoGuardian tools that help promote student safety and efficient learning, while continuing to find creative ways on how to instill life lessons and develop responsible digital students.