Inspiring Empathy and Kindness With Students

Why principals shouldn't take kindness and empathy for granted at their school.

Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Health and Wellness, Student Engagement

Most people intuitively understand kindness, but defining what it means, how it impacts those around us, and how to practice it can be truly revealing. We’re joined by Houston Kraft, co-founder of CharacterStrong, and Nikki Sparks, lead of the American Student Council Association (ASCA), to discuss the ways principals, staff, and students specifically can lead with empathy to create a kinder school and community.

Houston Kraft is co-founder of CharacterStrong, an organization providing curriculum and training to help teach leadership, character, and social-emotional skills, and author of Deep Kindness, and Be Kind.

Nikki Sparks is assistant executive director of executive services and recognition programs at NAESP, administering programs such as ASCA, the President’s Education Awards, and the National Distinguished Principal® program.

Donna McGuire is assistant principal at The Park Terrace School in New York City, a 2023 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal, and moderates the NAESP Assistant Principal Community of Practice.