Dear Parents and Guardians -
"There's only two things in life a person actually owns, and that is his name and his word."
On my way to work the other day, I heard this statement as I was listening to StoryCorps on NPR which is described as a candid conversation between two people about what is important in life.
The statement really struck me as being so true and so simple. The life we live is a reflection of our collective experience and how we interact, speak to and care for those around us.
In addition to providing a sound academic education to the students at our school, we also are responsible for making sure that we address the social and emotional needs of every child, every day. Research is clear that students need to feel connected and cared for in their school before they can learn.
To address this need, our teachers and staff make a point to get to know students as individuals. Daily class meetings provide an opportunity for students to share with one another and to learn more about their lives. As part of our positive behavior support system, there are numerous opportunities during the school day where a student can be recognized for following our PACK traits and showing kindness to others. We have classroom guidance lessons that take place at every grade level where students can discuss and practice those key elements of respect, kindness and caring. Even when students make mistakes, as we all do, we are very intentional to process the event and come up with solutions on how to address the problem, to make things right with the other people involved, and to brainstorm ways to avoid having the situation happen again.
Of course, the responsibility for positive social and emotional development does not fall solely on the shoulders of educators. Parents and members of a child’s support network are just as important if not more important than teachers and staff members at school. We must work in partnership to ensure everyone is doing the best that they can to make a difference now and well into the future. As children become adults and reflect back on a life lived, they will realize at some point in time that, "There's only two things in life a person actually owns, and that is his name and his word."