Teaching kindness and inclusion is one of the ways we foster a caring community of learners in our preschool. Kindness involves the recognition that others’ feelings are important, and it requires the ability to take the perspective of others, which is an important developmental skill.
Opportunities for kindness present themselves daily: helping a friend zip up a new jacket; complimenting a friend on their painting; or helping a friend put that last block on a very tall tower - the list is endless.
Our teachers model kindness and establish prososcial expectations in their classrooms by responding sensitively to children’s everyday needs, supporting them emotionally, and listening and conversing with sincere attention.
Ultimately, inclusion and kindness go hand in hand when every child is seen as being created in the image of G-d. By seeing people around us in that way, everyone is accorded equal respect
While there is much research documenting the benefit of inclusion for students with special needs, newer studies show that inclusion benefits all children. Acts of kindness have been shown to produce health benefits similar to exercise, and positive behaviors improve the atmosphere of the school and generate a sense of collegiality within the classroom - ultimately, inclusion fosters kindness, just as kindness fosters inclusion.