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Kindness is Contagious

In the hustle and bustle of the modern education system, where academic achievement often takes centre stage, the value of kindness can sometimes be overlooked. Not at Wonthaggi North Primary School in Victoria, one of our partner schools.


Throughout our first professional learning day together, building strong connections and relationships and laying the platform for our partnership, there were stories and anecdotes from the team about how important kindness was to this school community.


Rachel, the front of house superstar, reminded me of a quote from Maya Angelou:


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


In a restorative school culture, kindness plays an important role and, whether responding to positive situations or conflict, fosters a sense of belonging and emotional safety.  An environment that values kindness helps students and school communities to feel valued and supported, and in that environment, opportunities for academic and emotional growth come easier.


Through kindness, walking a restorative path, the actions of people like Rachel ensure school communities can promote a strong sense of empathy and understanding. Adults in schools can model kindness and immerse students, parents/carers and each other in the social and emotional behaviours that will serve the students well in their future.


Pre pandemic I was fortunate enough to tag along for a Year 6 camp to Canberra. Our group struck gold and were able to have a short audience with then Governor General Peter Cosgrove. The students could sense what an opportunity this was and had the chance to field some questions. The first one, “Do you like cats or dogs?” was followed by Hazel’s question, “How would you describe your approach to leadership?”


The response was simple, powerful and has lasted long in my memory.


“I start with being kind!”


Two great leaders – Rachel from Wonthaggi North and the former Governor General Peter Cosgrove – are on the same page about kindness. Let’s make it a priority in our schools to create the meaningful and trusting relationships our students, staff and communities deserve.


Let’s make kindness contagious!