As students settle into the new school year, there are many things they can do to be a hero. Now there are the obvious things you can do like to stop bullying when you see it (LWC offers an anonymous online bully report form, too), and the obvious: be nice and respectful. However the one that is most overlooked is just being a decent human.
Make it your goal to be the highlight of someone’s day, whether it’s for a teacher or a fellow student. Some days, a smile or a small gesture of kindness goes a long way. I’m not saying you have to be a smiling ray of sunshine all day, everyday, but it’s important to remember that other people might be having bad days, too.
Being a nice person is the easiest way to make friends. Just a small comment of “I love that shirt” or something simple like that can make someone’s day. You could help to boost their self confidence and make them feel good about themselves. Saying “hi” to someone you don’t know or haven’t talked to before may not mean a lot to you – but it might mean a lot to that person. Being a jerk isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Being nice to somebody doesn’t cost you anything. Just saying kind words, smiling, or including others is enough to be a decent person. Everyone wants to feel good and appreciated so why not let them know that they are. If everyone in this school made an individual effort to reach out in kindness once a day, imagine how many students would be considered heroes.
To get a teacher’s perspective on “how to be a hero,” I spoke with Mr. Robbins:
Why do you think it is easy for you to connect with the students?
“For me I think it is because I’m okay with being embarrassed so other people can laugh and have a good time. I want them to be able to join in with the joke. I try not to be self conscious and worry about what they are going to think of me. I just try to let them see that I’m human too.”
What advice would you give to a student who is having a hard time making friends or fitting in?
“My main advice would be to find a club to join. There are so many ways to get involved and that’s the best way to meet people with the same interests as you. And even in the classroom sometimes you just have to make the first move and start a conversation. You need to be willing to put yourself out there.”
What helps you to put on a happy face for your students everyday?
“Well my main thing is to always be there for the students. No matter what is going on in the day, when the kids come into the room it’s time to learn and have fun and be there for them. A main thing that helps me stay positive throughout the day is when I see kids being nice to each other and just small little acts of kindness.”