Kindness in the classroom on International Day of Friendship

International Day of Friendship
Teaching kindness in the classroom – tutors and teachers have a golden opportunity to create communities that care.

Why do we celebrate international days of observation? They’re a chance to talk about important topics, to encourage people to address global and local problems as a community, and to share humankind’s achievements. At the end of a month where many  witnessed horrific scenes of looting we promote a culture of peace on International Day of Friendship Amanda Mohlahlo and Nolwazi Ncobo joined the JumpStart team this year. Their commitment and vision of teaching kindness in the classroom is truly inspiring.

Amanda Mohlahlo’s vision for Zamdela

Kindness counts!

In the classroom I want to teach learners the values of relationships such as sharing, support and respect. For example when one learner does not have a pen or pencil I will ask the class if is there anyone with an extra one to lend. In that way I am teaching them kindness to others, to help those in need and also to share with those who don’t have and we all know that sharing is caring.

Please and thank you!

I always treat my learners with respect so that they will respect me and others. When I need something from a learner I say, “Can you please give us an answer?” After they do so, I will thank them. They also do the same like when they need to use the bathroom, saying ,”Can I please use the bathroom?” They understand very well that we need to respect each other for my relationship with them to be strong. I’ve also seen them thank the women who cook for them at school when they are served their lunch.

I encourage my learners to help each other academically so that they can all pass. Here the idea is to teach learners to support each other and we always clap for the ones doing well. So my experience in the classroom has helped me teach children that we need relationships to help us become the best we can be by being supportive to others, sharing with others and being respectful to others. Through this relationships values and other values not mentioned here, my learners know that they cannot leave on their own.We all need a friend we can always rely on.

My JumpStart sisters have my back

Before joining Jumpstart I had friends and family I am close to so having the Jumpstart team as my friends is really a bonus. Firstly, we’re all females, so I can discuss anything that bothering me, be it personal or work-related. They can relate and always give wise insight on how to go about the matter. I have a feeling of belonging because I can offer support and companion to my Jumpstart sisters when they need me and nothing beats the feeling of knowing you might have impacted someone’s life in a positive way. “Each one, teach one” is a concept I aim to live by. That’s how communities and connections are built, through the act of compassion and kindness.

Nolwazi gets real after the looting

Being kind in such a horrible world seems impossible at times, especially if you’re fighting inner demons to survive. Remaining kind to people and making someone smile is so satisfying. I feel so blessed to have an opportunity to spread kindness throughout the school.

Nolwazi Ngcobo says, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so be kind!”

I never thought I would get so attached to my pupils.

In these five months of tutoring, I realised that these kids deserve better. I might not have it all and I can’t change their home situations, but I can give them the lesson of a lifetime by teaching them to be kind to one another, to show respect and never to give up regardless of the things they go through.

I try to help, offering them the emotional support they need. Some kids only receive love from school teachers, so let’s teach them how to hold their hearts with care. Let’s love them and respect them irrespective of the age difference.

Everything happens for a reason and I know God placed me in this place and situation for a reason. He knew my capabilities and strength and how far I can carry myself along with these fragile little hearts. I’ve been trusted with these little humans; I’ve been called to be the ear they need, and to try by all means to put a smile on their beautiful little faces.

Partner with us

When you loan someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness, you give them the most precious gift. That is what we get from our partners! We need your company on this journey of growing education for foundation phase learners with tutors like Amanda and Nolwazi. Please partner with us to help us build educational opportunities for the learners and tutors in our community. Email Betty Oliphant for more information.

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