Because October is National Bullying Prevention Month, we’re asking MSTA members how they create a culture of kindness within their classrooms. Throughout the month, we’ll share responses from educators across the state, in an attempt to encourage and inspire all readers to work to promote kindness throughout all schools.

We asked MSTA members about a time they witnessed genuine kindness in their school. Here’s what they said.

I witness genuine kindness in my room each day, not necessarily grand gestures, but quiet heroes. Yesterday a student jumped up and ran to the trash can because his stomach was upset. Without asking, his face partner got up, found his backpack, put his work and AR book inside, then handed it to the nurse when she came in. Each day someone will pick up the broom and clean up any mess so the night custodian has less work. They cheer each other on when someone succeeds, and if someone needs a supply, “I have one” will be heard from more than one classmate. These are children with big hearts and make this world a better place. Jennipher Adams, Maries R-2


We have early childhood classes at my school. I have often witnessed the students being great mentors/role models for the younger students. The older students take pride in helping the younger students. I have witnessed one of my students that has a difficult situation take the hand of one of these younger students to walk them from the bus to the gym before the students come to class in the mornings. It is refreshing to see the students flourish by helping others. Susie Compton, Springfield


I know a student that will fess up to doing things that he didn’t do just because he wants to be nice and keep everyone out of trouble. He’d rather keep the peace than watch his teachers get into power struggles with his classmates. Although, I don’t believe this is a good habit, the kindness in his heart is real. Christina Behl, Montrose


My students in my school display kindness on a daily basis and have been doing this for over 7 years. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer, during one of my treatments I received a coloring page on my lunch tray. It brightened my day. That was when I decided that our school would begin coloring pages for the Southeast Cancer Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. We have been doing this for over 7 years and have received numerous thank you cards, phone calls and even a video thanking us for the beautiful color pages with the uplifting messages. We are trying to instill kindness in our students at an early age. Hoping this kindness will carry over into adulthood. Rhonda Painton, Bell City R-2


A student was having a rough morning. Another student went to that student and put her arm around her and told her that it was going to be ok. She demonstrated true kindness and compassion. Angela Guest, Malta Blend R-V


Senior Portrait day at my school can be stressful for students who can’t afford (or don’t know how) to have their hair and make-up done. For the past two years, our students, Lillianne Oermann and Macenzie LaCrone, have used their own supplies and time to help the senior class. They have gone out of their way to make sure they can help every student look their best for their Yearbook photo. During both years, we have had many students cry after their picture because they never feel as beautiful as they did at that moment. Both girls did a wonderful job and made SCHS proud! Jennifer Moore, St. Clair


Just today, I witnessed a student transcribing for a student who struggles with writing down thoughts. He noticed his friend struggle, and offered to help, even though he was not yet done with his own stuff, because he didn’t want his friend to feel overwhelmed or fall behind. Caroline Askew, Chilhowee R-IV


When one of our teachers was in need of a substitute at the last minute due to a medical condition, I volunteered my plan period and push-in periods to be her substitute. I knew it would be nearly impossible to find a substitute on such a whim. I did it because of the peace of mind it gave her to be able to take care of her health needs in a timely matter. Marshana Broyles, Fordland School District


Our school has faced many tragedies over the past few years and every time our student body and faculty and staff come up behind one another for support and care. Students have made signs for teacher who have lost loved ones so they know they are thinking of them, faculty and staff have taken up funds to assist families in need during medical situations, and so many other things just like this are done in our school on a weekly basis. Valerie Ward, Scott County R-IV