Dear KES Family,
It seems self-evident that we are all accountable for our actions. We see evidence of this every day in the news, in sports, in our daily interactions with people. If I post something offensive on Facebook, for example, I am responsible for my words and images. This is what a group of Dalhousie Dental School students are discovering with regards to their Facebook posts. It is also what our students at King’s-Edgehill discover when their actions contravene the established rules and values of our School and community. Students make mistakes, they learn from them, they become wiser from the experience (we hope). The discipline process is often emotional and full of tears. It is very common to hear a child say “I was not thinking.”
For me, this is the heart of the matter. How often have we rolled our eyes at something and thought “What were they thinking?” The truth is: they weren’t. Or more correctly, they were thinking but just not thinking with any kind of mental effort or empathy or awareness. This is where a school can have a huge effect on a child’s life – teaching how to think. It is not a matter of teaching students not to do hurtful things, but to teach them not to think them. We take the words of “dignity and respect” right out of our Mission statement and ask our students to develop attitudes and empathy so that their thinking is dignified and respectful.
Yesterday at the Red Cross blood donor clinic, the nurses could not stop gushing about how “fabulous” our students were. I don’t think it was because our students were simply acting nicely, but that there was something about their behaviour that reflected a purity of spirit. The nurses recognized it and wanted me to know how wonderful our students are.
At least twice a week the students at King’s-Edgehill School recite the School Prayer which asks that we be inspired with “the spirit of truth, honour and duty” and granted “a cheerful and forebearing spirit, strength of body, clearness of mind, and purity of heart”. I don’t know how much consciously sinks in, but it is exceptional that we live in a community whereby we articulate these wishes out loud. Words like “honour” and “duty”, so rare in most teenagers’ everyday lives, are part of our lexicon.
Thinking takes effort. Doing the right thing often takes effort too. If there is one hope that I have for our students it is that they are not lazy. Mentally, morally, or physically.
This week in pictures.