Stories of Kindness from Around the World

When The Student Is The Teacher

--by LittleMiss, posted Feb 12, 2016
I teach at a middle school where we really focus on kindness and service being our over-riding culture. We have a Wheel of Kindness we spin each week to challenge the kids to commit kind acts, and we hold assemblies that recognize our students who are committing acts of service locally and globally. Well this week I was reminded again how special middle school kids are.

I follow many of my students on Instagram so I can keep up on their lives away from school as well as look for any cyber bullying. On Monday evening, I received a direct message from a boy who had someone write a very mean message in his locker. He took a picture of it and sent it to me asking for help. I assured him that this is not what we are all about at our school and asked him to meet me at recess the following morning. He said he would, and we left off with him feeling as if he had been heard and me feeling honored that he came to me.

A few hours later I noticed on his Instagram that he had posted the picture of the mean note and asked if anyone knew who it was. I made sure to comment that we were looking into it to give the person who did it a little push in coming forward. I thought it was very smart of the boy who had received the note to reach out via social media because this is where the kids live for so many hours of the day. Well, the next day when recess came, the boy came to me and another boy was with him. The boy who had received the note showed me another note he had received. But this was a beautiful, heartfelt apology. I asked him if he knew who had done it, and the boy who came with him replied, "It was me. I don't know why I did it, but I know it was wrong and not at all kind. So I wrote him this note. I also wrote 150 Post Its with kind sayings on them and put them in all the lockers. I just wanted to do something to try to make up for my meanness."

I was blown away. My heart felt so full of pride and love for this brave boy, I thought it would burst out of my chest! I told him how courageous I thought it was for him to come forward and how amazing it was that he did something kind in return to try to balance his mistake. I turned to the boy who received both notes and asked him if he also recognized the bravery and could forgive. Without hesitation, he said, "Yes. Definitely. And if anyone tries to be mean to him for making a bad choice, I will stand up to him."


I think middle schoolers can get a bad name because it is such a precarious age. They are stuck between being children and growing up, and it is so difficult to navigate. But these two boys both showed me that coming forward when we need help is so important, and coming forward to admit a wrong is vital. They both showed bravery, compassion and kindness in a way I would not have expected. Every day I am reminded that although I am an educator, my students truly teach me. 
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Readers Comments

Dennis826 wrote: Everyone in this story is amazing. Thank you so much for your part in this. What a wonderful turnout.
Satwinder wrote: I really love the wheel of kindness you use. Great story, indeed.
cabbage wrote: So heartwarming to hear of your kindness inspiration! Thanks for sharing, and kudos to your kids.
rickhiker wrote: And you, dear teacher, are the stuff of good generations to come! There is a beautiful place in eternity for you.
cyctw wrote: Two young boys teaching the world about compassion and courage. It doesn't get any better 😍
cyctw wrote: Two young boys teaching the world about compassion and courage. It doesn't get any better😍
LittleMiss wrote: Thank you all so very much for your kind words and beautiful compliments. I am humbled.
cabbage wrote: Wow! Amazing share. Thanks for being an incubator of compassion
Virginia wrote: Certainly demonstrates how sharing your feelings can make a difference. This was handled properly - i. e . , no recriminations or judgment. Bravo to the young man for going further to rectify his original 'meanness'.
Chris wrote: It is so critical that all children learn to be kind and caring. What an inspiration your story is on so many levels. Hoorah for you, first. A student came to you because he trusted you. And hoorah for him for having the courage to want to address this. Hoorah for the student who came forward and wanted to make it right. And the first boy truly forgave him, as evidenced by his willingness to stand up for him. I can see why you were blown away. I am too! Thanks for sharing.

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