I’m just going to come out and say it– sticky notes are best invention ever. Period. My life would spiral out of control without the help of colorful little pieces of paper decorating my office space at home. Believe it or not, sticky notes can be used to create a culture change right in the classroom.
I preface this blog with this: Sometimes, it is okay to pass a note in class. 🙂
I stumbled across many websites made by teachers talking about ways to change the culture in their classroom. I mean, who doesn’t want a room full of compassionate and empathetic kids right? One story that really caught my eye was about a teacher recalling a time when he was a student and he needed a small act of kindness. He was having a really bad day. He had already tuned out of the class lecture, and the classroom discussion around him. He just put his head on his desk, and just wished the day would go by faster. Suddenly, one of his peers that he never spoken to before, passed him a small sticky-note with “Are You Ok?” written across it. He quickly responded with a simple “No” and passed the note back to his peer. He says that this act did not fix the issues he was facing but he felt worlds better knowing someone cared for him. The author goes on to tell about a time in his own classroom as an educator where he saw a student showing the same emotions as he did years ago. He looked at a stack of sticky-notes on his desk (they are everywhere!) and wrote, “Are You Ok?” just as his peer wrote for him years ago. The student responded with “No”. The author then writes back to the student how he is there for his student. Turns out the student was facing issues at home, and the author’s small act was just what the student needed. (I encourage you to read the entire blog post here).
How can something so small, such as a sticky-note, create such a profound impact?
Acts of kindness do not have to be massive events to create an impact in someone’s life. Although, it would be pretty awesome to throw an entire parade celebrating someone, that is not necessarily what the person needs. People, especially developing children, need to have a sense of belonging. They need to know that they are valued and cared for. The act of kindness described above is a perfect example of a small deed creating a huge impact.
How can you spread kindness through sticky notes?
The next time you are shopping at your preferred superstore, you might want to pick up an extra pack of sticky notes! Here are some ways you can show the students in your life that you care about them!
Parents: Send your child to school with a sticky-note hidden somewhere. There is no better feeling than finding a nicely written note in the middle of the day. Even if they say they are too cool for that stuff. You know it makes them smile. Smiling is always cool, kids.
Students: Before class, write a small note and stick it on one of your peers desk. Even just a simple hello can make someone’s day. Something I did in high school was write “You Are Beautiful” on sticky notes and stick them on the mirror of the girl’s bathroom. You wouldn’t believe how many Instagram posts there were of the mirrors with captions saying how their day was made. Also, sticky notes on lockers with compliments is another great idea. It takes only a few seconds to write an inspirational saying on a sticky note!
Educators: You can really do all the things I described for a student! Also, another cool idea is having a sticky note board in your class room. Just stick a whole bunch of sticky notes on a bulletin board in the classroom. Write inspirational words or phrases on each sticky note. Encourage students to add sticky notes to the bulletin board, or take a sticky note with them if the word or phrase really touches them on that day. I guarantee you that every time they look down at that colorful piece of sticky paper, it will make their day.
Like I said in the beginning of the blog, sticky notes are the best. They have so many uses, which makes them a cheap way to create some major change! Sometimes it is the little things that we need the most. Go out and start making some lasting (sticking… if you will) change!