How to show kindness in your online class

Kindness goes a long way, especially in distance learning

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a ray of sunshine by being nice to others? Amidst today’s many changes and challenges, it sure is a breath of fresh air to see big and small acts of kindness everywhere, even in the online space. In fact, your phone or laptop isn’t just a device. In the era of online learning, it gives you a stronger power to spread kindness and positivity around you.

Are you wondering how you can effectively share acts of kindness online? Here are five things that you can try in all your online classes.

  1. Attend class prepared and on time
To show respect to your teacher online, join your classes prepared and on time.

A day or hours before joining your online class, prepare your Kumon worksheets, pencil, eraser, and other online learning tools. This preparation allows you to be focused once your Kumon session starts.

Attending your class prepared and on time sends your Kumon Instructors the message that you are excited to learn and respect their time. Even if you do not see it, being ready and punctual brightens your teacher’s day and motivates them to do better for your next class. As teachers play the role of second parents, they will also be proud to see you become respectful and responsible.

As a bonus of growing up a punctual and responsible student, you will learn to manage your academic and personal life and be on your way to future success.

  1. Greet your teacher and classmates
Saying a simple greeting, such as Good Morning or Good Afternoon, upon joining the class is a way of showing kindness in your online class.

A smile coupled with a sincere greeting is a simple act of kindness that sparks another. You will notice that when you smile and politely greet your teacher, he or she will warmly welcome you in class with a smile, too! Your classmates might also feel glad that you recognize them, even if you are apart.

After each class, say Thank You to your teachers and classmates for guiding and supporting throughout the session.

  1. Wait for your turn to speak and keep your mic muted unless called
In your online class, always wait for your turn to speak. If you have something to say, raise your virtual hand, then wait for your teacher’s signal before you unmute.

The so-called netiquette or politeness online is relatively new to all of us. But one thing we now know is that unmuting your microphone only when you are called to speak is a sign of kindness and respect. This is not only a courtesy to your teacher but to everyone attending the online class.

Keeping your microphone muted ensures that you will not interrupt the flow of the class or cause unnecessary distraction, especially if your teacher or another classmate of yours is speaking. So, always wait for your turn to speak. You may raise your virtual hand if you have something to say but wait for your teacher’s signal before you unmute and speak.

  1. Be respectful when sending a chat
Show kindness in your online class by sending meaningful and respectful messages.

When attending your online classes, be sure to keep the discussions in your class chatbox meaningful and respectful. You may use it to send the likes of Good Morning and Good Afternoon greetings. You may share your insights about the class topic for the day or your answer to your teacher’s question on the chatbox. It’s also a good place to cheer for your classmates and share encouraging messages.

Be kinder to others by not participating in unhealthy discussions or conversations that would hurt or disrespect others.

  1. Have appropriate backgrounds
During class, use backgrounds that are appropriate for the class and won’t cause distraction.

Kindness in online class doesn’t just revolve around noise, but backgrounds too! Before joining the class, make sure that your background is suited for an online class. Use the ones that are appropriate for the class and won’t cause distraction.

When using virtual backgrounds, do not use cartoons or explicit images as it might draw your classmates’ attention away from the teacher’s discussion. Do not also use those that are too bright as it might hurt the eyes of those looking at the screen. If you opt to keep your natural background, make sure that the area behind you isn’t a busy spot in your home. Remember that any movement, such as people walking behind you, might distract others.

As we mark the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying with the theme “Tackling cyberbullying and other forms of online violence involving children and young people,” let us be heralds of safe and compassionate online space. Let the online world be a place where students like you can learn, gain confidence, and develop their best selves. You can brave the very first steps by showing kindness in your online class.

How about you? How do you show kindness in your online class?


Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 300 Kumon Centers nationwide.

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