In schools we speak of inquiry often, meaning to study an important question, issue, or concept. Typically, inquiry involves students working individually or in small groups making use of books, digital access and speaking with knowledgeable people to learn about a topic and make meaning for themselves and possibly others. Inquiry is intended to develop skills or competencies (thinking competencies or communication competencies for example) and acquire knowledge and develop understandings of concepts.
This week at BICS, I propose a different kind of inquiry, where each person who enters the school – students, staff, parents, and community members – ask and look for an answer to this question: Will the school feel more welcoming and be a happier place to learn and work if each of us commits to performing at least one random acts of kindness each day?
This different kind of inquiry will not employ books, search engines or interviews; instead, participants will be encouraged to examine the relationship between cause and effect and see what effect their actions, and the actions of hundreds of others, of being more deliberate in performing random acts of kindness, will have on how they and others feel about and at school.
This February 25 is Pink Shirt Day, a day when people are encouraged to wear pink to demonstrate their commitment to eliminating bullying in schools, communities and online. With the leadership of teachers and students, our efforts around Pink Shirt Day will focus on the virtues of tolerance and kindness. Both in the prevention and elimination of bullying, kindness is key.
Aesop has shared, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Let us together find out how true that is.