Fostering kindness in French class

Fostering kindness in French class


Encouraging my students to participate in authentic acts of kindness in my classroom is a yearlong theme. I find that it is also a key way for the students to build relationships with one another. In this post, I will share 6 of my favourite ways to foster a community of kindness in my French classroom.


Of course, the BEST way to teach your students how to be kind to each other is to model kindness yourself. They way that you greet your students, how you speak to them, how you deal with classroom behaviours and issues all matter a great deal. Modeling kindness is key to getting your students to be kind themselves. So, take a look at the tone of voice and language that you use with your students and the types of discipline you use in your class. Do they model kindness?


Here are 6 more ways to encourage kindness in your French classroom:


1. Encourage students to talk through their problems. Teach your students and allow them time to practice conflict resolution skills. Below are 4 steps that you can practice with your students to resolve their conflicts in a peaceful way.


Les 4 étapes pour régler un conflit sont:


1. Se calmer.

2. Se parler (faits et sentiments).

3. Chercher des solutions possibles.

4. Trouver et s’entendre sur une solution pacifique.



2. Avoid punishment. Does your classroom management plan include punishments like taking away a recess break or loss of gym time? You might want to rethink these policies. Instead, focus on having your students earn a fun reward (like extra recess or gym time) by showing good behaviour. 


3. Practice gratitude. Make gratitude part of your daily routine. At the very beginning or end of the day, ask your students to volunteer what they are grateful for that day and be sure to include something that you are grateful for too. They can be a quick 2-minute activity each day that will have a big impact.


4. RAKs. Practice random acts of kindness not only in your own classroom but in the school and community. Consider setting up a postcard or card-making writing station and invite your students to create a card with a positive message or a message of thanks to a staff member or school neighbour.  You can also ask your students to brainstorm some acts of kindness that they can do each day and create a classroom calendar with an idea each day. These can be very simple, like opening the door for someone, or saying hello to a student they don’t know. Also, you can use this random acts of kindness calendar and task cards to encourage your student kindness.


5. Teach positive self-talk. Teach your students the vocabulary for positive self-talk and positive character traits. Teach them how to give (and receive) a compliment. These are authentic and useful skills and a great, natural way to learn French. Take a look at this resource on self-esteem. Your students will participate in a positive self-talk activity, learn French vocabulary for positive qualities, learn to compliment themselves and others in French and engage in several writing activities to apply learned vocabulary.

Positive self-esteem activities


4. Celebrate kindness. When you notice a student going out of their way to do something kind for another person, be sure to recognize it in front of the rest of the class. Congratulate them. Show how much you value kindness in your classroom.


Do you have any other excellent ideas for fostering kindness in your French classroom? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

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