Saturday, November 26, 2011

Code of Conduct

Yesterday, I had time on my hands to research the school that I will be working at for the next three weeks. I perused their website, current newsletter and student handbook. There was a wealth of general information available and I was able to get a feel for the school I will soon be working at.

This school belongs to the "League of Peaceful Schools" where moral values are emphasized, teaching empathy, self-control and respect for all.

I was intrigued. I believe that the peace within our community/nation/world begins at home. If children are taught methods of resolving issues without the use of violence, coercion or bullying tactics at home, they have a better chance of utilizing those tools once they are out in the real world.

When the school system is dedicated to peaceful resolution of behavioural issues, it gives our next generation the best chance they have to learn the tools to create a peaceful environment. I admit that the school system is up against incredible odds, when children already come equipped with varying backgrounds, morals, behaviour issues and have already learned their own set of problem-solving-techniques.

But when I see and hear teachers consistently treating students fairly, I continue to believe that these students are still given the opportunity to see that the goal of peaceful resolution to problems is something to strive towards.

I continued my journey through the student handbook and found their Code of Conduct, based on the FISH! Philosophy (based on the DVD "FISH! : Catch the energy, release the potential"). I read the four simple practises that encompass the meaning of this philosophy and I thought it was a most perfect way to encompass good living no matter what your age (slightly adapted from the original FISH! Philosophy, so they apply to the students):
  • Be There
  • Choose Your Attitude
  • Make Someone's Day
  • Play
Be There - Make every moment count, no matter where you are. Be present and accounted for - whether it is school, work, family, friendship or any place that life takes you.

Choose Your Attitude - I love this one. It is not what happens to you in life, it is how you react to it. Your reaction is a choice that you make. Make choices you can live with. Choose a positive attitude.

Make Someone's Day - The best way to have a great day is to do a good deed, pay someone a compliment, commit random acts of kindness and envelope the spirit of giving. Helping to make someone's day always makes my day brighter.

Play - This is one that I often forget. Take time to laugh, to be joyful, to indulge yourself in that which makes you happy. Watch children playing independently. Watch their expressions, listen to their laughter. Take time to play and rediscover your inner child.

I have often read that "Everything I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten". It's never too late to learn. I am encouraged to find these philosophies enveloped in our school system.

I knew that I wanted to go back to school. Little did I know how much there was to learn in the Elementary grade levels!

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