This is one of those ideas that sprang into existence with a simple statement of praise – “Kevin, you deserve a big thank you from the class! You’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty.” Looking at the blank faces, it was clear that no one had a clue as to what the phrase meant. Launching into a brief explanation, I put the words on the board and looking at the first letters, an idea was born: the ABCD’s of Kindness. Above and Beyond the Call Of Duty
The class contributed their ideas of how to be kind. Cards would be made with the words around the outer edge as the ‘logo’. An enterprising young lady offered to design the card on her computer. Copies were run off on slightly heavy paper. As a class, we decided on values of one point, five, ten and twenty points. The teacher wrote the numbers on them. The students took them home to design and color. Last, the cards were laminated by the teacher and trimmed by the students.
With the students committed and excited, it was only two weeks until a huge set of ABCD cards was completed.
The guideline was simple: If the teacher saw someone doing something kind, then points would be awarded with a card. A class discussion ensued to determine the amount of points related to the kindness involved. Much of this evolved over time as we returned to the idea for discussion and update. After a few weeks, the entire process was in place. The students eventually joined in identifying kindnesses themselves.
Toward the end of the year the question arose, how would these points benefit the students who had earned them? It was clear the teacher wasn’t trading them for dollar bills!
The final decision was an auction. Students and teacher brought in items. On one of the last days of school, the auction was held. And, an interesting event took place. One very thoughtful student had no ABCD cards. The class explained that he always gave them away. And so it happened that the greatest act of selfless kindness received the privilege of choosing the first auction item.
The year ended. Although the cards were used other years, nothing seemed as wonderful as that first year when the whole class joined in an effort to acknowledge and reward their classmates who went ‘Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’ to be kind to their friends.