How might we create a kinder culture? Stricter press regulations, more mental health awareness, and acts of kindness are some of the affirmative suggestions that have been made in response to the tragic event of Caroline Flack's passing. This inspired me to raise awareness with the current students I teach, with the aim that we can all work together to facilitate an open and kinder culture at College as well as in wider society.
This task asked the students to discuss the factors that contributed to Caroline Flack's mental health and eventual passing, before they were invited to write one kind thing about each of their classmates to jot onto the provided sticky note pads. Once completed, the students gave their kind notes to each other to read, and then they stuck all the notes on the whiteboard for the rest of the lesson. Reading these notes gave the students an empowering start to the lesson and cultivated an open and welcoming environment in the classroom. The idea of this activity of kindness was to provide an opportunity for the students to think about the ways in which kindness can be offered, how their participation can be experienced as a form of empowering others, and how these acts do not have to be "Revolutions" but micro-revolutions; small gestures that can make all the difference.
*The notes of kindness were produced by the students and the activity was performed on 25th February 2020 during the lesson. This activity was created and implemented during my post as Lecturer in Art and Graphic Design at West Kent College (2020).