School Spotlight: Kindness Curriculum at Pine Village Needham

Here at Pine Village, we empower our teachers to create lessons that resonate with them and their particular neighborhood school. We believe in an individualized learning plan that meets the needs of the classroom and each child as they learn and grow. To that end, one of our amazing teachers, Veronica Guzman, in our Needham school recently created and implemented a Kindness curriculum for her classroom. As yet another component of our social emotional learning, we are so happy to share more information about the curriculum she created.

As Fred Rogers said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

As parents, we all are aware that it’s important to teach and model kind behavior to help them grow up into people who make the world a better place. However, teaching kind tendencies leads to happier, less anxious children with physical and emotional benefits. And the good news is that yes, kindness can be taught through lessons, modeling kind behavior and continued reinforcement about being kind.

We chatted with Veronica to learn more about how this curriculum came about!

Why did you decide to create a kindness curriculum for your classroom?

I decided to create a kindness curriculum for the kids in my classroom because we were welcoming new students and teachers. It is important to incorporate kindness in our learnings, with our classmates, teachers and friends. When the kids show kindness here at Pine Village, especially in the classroom, it increases happiness in our day to day activities and creates a unique bond that brings sympathy to all of us. The idea came to me on a day when I observed one of my students helping a classmate with a class activity. That act of kindness united them in a rewarding way. Kindness is important to preschoolers because it develops a positive classroom culture. With kindness, preschoolers are able to feel a sense of security and support from those around them.

Tell us more about the curriculum!

To create the curriculum I used different ideas and examples from activities from Pinterest, research and additional resources. The activities are mainly for kids aged between 3 to 5 years of age. All the activities involved classmates working together such as painting, and making letters and drawings for one another. We also read books about kindness and people helping each other. It’s important that the focus be on nurturing the relationships and understanding how to be a good friend to others around them. Children have drastically shown improvements in our class activities and I can see the impact it has on their relationships and thinking around activities such as sharing, playing together and treating each other.

How can parents incorporate these learnings into their everyday home life? 

At home, there are a few simple ways that families can incorporate kindness tendencies into their everyday life. For kids that have other siblings, I would encourage parents to make sure they are incorporating kindness with one another and encouraging that personal relationship to build each other up and treat each other with respect. Parents can also model kindness behavior as children tend to look up to parents as role models. They can practice random acts of kindness for others, practice gratitude, give each other compliments and share stories of kindness and doing good in the world. Families can also volunteer together as a way to give back to others.

More about Veronica:

My name is Veronica Guzman and this is my second year teaching at Pine Village Preschool as a Pre-k teacher in Needham. I love working with children and all the exploring, learning and fun we get to have!

I graduated from  Mass Bay Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and also I’m also certified by EEC as a Preschool Teacher. I started working with children at the age of 16 at my mom’s daycare. I did my practicum for my early childhood degree at Little Sprouts in Dedham.

I grew up in Venezuela and  I came to the United States when I was a little girl at the age of 11. My first language is Spanish and my second language is English.

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