Reflections from My Student Advisory

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I don’t know if you are aware or not, but several times during the course of the year I meet with 12 high school students as part of my student advisory. They are an awesome group of students.
Today, the meeting was really powerful and I want to share with you several things that were said because I believe they pertain to all of us.
Students talked openly about the divide they perceive in our country and how as adults we need to remind everybody that there is no place for hate in our schools.
Students talked about some of their friends having very real fears around the ‘sense of belonging’ and how adults need to remind and model for everybody that all students are welcome in our schools.
Students shared that a sense of belonging is powerful to all people and it is multiplied when they can be involved in an activity or sport.
Students shared that this election has been long and intense and it did not matter what side you lined up on criticism of your beliefs/support would happen.
Students talked about how social media has been a battleground of opinion and that they are watching ‘faceless’ battles. In other words, it is easier to say mean things because you don’t have to face the person.  They believe that people need to remember that opinions should be respected and that the emotional outbursts should be tempered.
I was reminded in the meeting how important our Millard Public School Beliefs are to our students, staff and community. A few that rang loud today…
  • Each individual has worth.
  • Our greatest resource is people.
  • All people are entitled to a safe, caring and respectful environment.
  • Educated and engaged citizens are necessary to sustain our democratic society.
  • Sharing and developing character is the share responsibility of the individual, family, school and community.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this as well as do what you do best – creating a culture of learning for all.  Feel free to share this where appropriate.

Kindness Matters

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I admit it. I am a social media junkie.  I love to see what is going on in the world and particularly around the school district  and community.  Twitter is by far my favorite tool and one that I use daily.

I hear people say that social media makes bullying worse.  Honestly, I don’t know if it does or does not. We are certainly more connected.  What I know is that bullying stinks and it has been around well before cell phones and social media.   We spend a lot of time and energy on identifying, preventing, and reporting bullying.  I think maybe we got it wrong.  

We try to label bullying.  We try to stop bullying. We teach people to report bullying.  Maybe we could spend our energy on kindness.  It just seems so much simpler.  If we each applied the one question test and held everybody around us to that same standard, we would no doubt create a culture of kindness.  It just feels better to build something instead of prevent something.

The One Question Test

Was my last action kind?   

Kindness really matters. It is time to change the conversation and focus on an action that we can all take – treating each other with kindness.  This will only be done when leaders decide that kindness matters most.  I hope if you read this, you will be that leader.