Inspiring kindness, integrity

Monday, September 10, 2018
(Sentinel Photo by Kim Fickett) Hinton Special Education Teacher Paula Hodgson was one of the teachers instrumental in bringing some more positivity and niceness to the middle school and high school at Hinton Community Schools. Hodgson said it is the project’s goal to inspire girls to be nice to each other during some of the most difficult years of their life.

HINTON — A motivational trend started at other middle schools across the country has made its way to Hinton Community Schools.

The inspiration to bring more positivity and niceness to the hallways and classrooms at Hinton began with a social media post, said Paula Hodgson, one of the teachers involved with the project.

“A previous para in our building, Tiffany Strickland, saw other middle schools doing it and started the conversation on Facebook,” Hodgson said.

The post quickly began seeing comments supporting the idea from not only colleagues but also parents in the district.

“Middle school can be such a hard time and we were just trying to throw some inspiration where we could. Mostly we are just trying to spread kindness and are encouraging kids to step out of their comfort zone and be nice instead of being nasty because it’s a little easier to be nasty these days,” Hodgson said of what a typical middle school atmosphere has become these days.

“Social media makes it so easy for us to pick people apart and be critical and I think that spreads to how we treat people in real life. So just choosing to not say something if you have something snarky to say or just going out of your way to compliment someone and make someone smile if you see someone having a rough day, that’s the kind of stuff we need to be encouraging,” Hodgson continued.

Hodgson, along with fellow teachers Sarah Boesch and Missy Conley, selected eight of their favorite sayings to install on the middle school bathroom stalls, as well as in two of the high school bathrooms.

After finding the right sayings, a call to the Northwest AEA’s Creative Services Department led to the design of the vinyls.

The sayings displayed in the bathrooms offer the girls in the district a constant reminder to stay on the positive side of life and to simply be nice to each other.

• No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

• Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

• Be the reason someone smiles today.

• Do the right thing even when no one is looking.

• Dare to be remarkable.

• Don’t stop until you are proud.

• Be the best version of you.

• People who make the world better for other people, are some of the best people.

Hinton High School Principal Betty Wendt was a huge supporter of the teacher’s project.

“I was excited to hear Mrs. Hodgson’s ideas about the project and added my support. It serves as a great reminder to always be kind. Our world needs more kindness,” Wendt said.

Hodgson said since completing the project, she has found more sayings she would like to add to the high school bathrooms.

“My favorite saying is, ‘Do what’s right even when no one’s looking’, because we try and talk about integrity all the time and we’re still surprised by how many kids who don’t know what the word integrity means. We’re hoping this will help them learn about integrity,” Hodgson concluded.

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