Why I Teach Kindness in My Virtual Art Class

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Why do I teach kindness in my virtual art class? Well, it was another Saturday morning and I had just logged in to my zoom account and launched my virtual art class. Usually it is an easygoing and fun class where my little artists laugh and enjoy their 30 mins of creating. It was January and we were painting a snowman. The class went really well.

However, teaching a virtual art class in front of little people can be worrisome. As a non-native English speaker, I often wonder: “Am I making sense? Do I speak too fast? Is this the way you say it correctly?” These are all the questions going through my mind. But not that Saturday! I felt very comfortable and confident in my own skin.

Until, let’s call him Matteo (who was 4 and had his father by his side), began to correct me as we were about to paint a few more snowflakes on the paper. “It is a snowman” he said. “Yes, we are painting a snowman”, I said in my strong Eastern European accent.

“Speak English!”

Suddenly he shouted: “Speak English” right there in front of my little artists, I was speechless and gasping for words. We all got quiet. Even Matteo did because his father pressed the mute button. Don’t get me wrong: I know kiddos say things they have in their mind. They don’t pretend and that’s what I love about children – their honestly and purity. Yet this was harsh.

I quickly made a joke about it and blamed my accent for it. Yet deep inside, I was hurt and wanted to end the class ASAP.  I finished it with a big smile on my face and thanked everyone for their attention. “Accents are beautiful” they say, yet it did not feel like it.

After that class Matteo never showed back up. I never heard from his parents either.

Teaching Kindness Virtually

Since that class, I see the importance of reminding and teaching children to be kind. I tell all my little students to practice kindness to everyone they meet, regardless of culture and color. We all live in one melting pot and I believe I should not have to apologize for my accent, culture, and/or color. No one should.

We teach kindness to our children starting at home. Accept and embrace different cultures.  It does not take much! And do you know what’s interesting? Nowadays my students finish the sentence for me: “be kind to everyone you meet”.

teaching kindness teach kindness
I teach my students kindness in Art class
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Lucia Pinto has been creating toys and crafts for family and friends since childhood. Lucia is a SAHM, Montessori toy creator, and craft enthusiast of sophisticated and simple objects that inspire and delight young and old alike. Lucia grew up in Slovakia, but her life and work have taken her around the world both as a visitor and a resident. From her hometown in Slovakia to Dubai, across the sea to New York and back again, Lucia’s exploration and immersion into these places and their cultures influence her work today. When she isn’t indoors cutting paper, playing with bright colors, or creating toys, she can be found strolling through nature, playing with her two beloved children in the park, or practicing yoga. She resides with her husband and two children, Luca and Anna, in their downtown apartment in Washington DC.

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