One of the best things about having the privilege of being Principal of an Elementary School, is that I am continually surprised by students. The other day, for instance, I was spending some time in a grade 2/3 class and got my inspiration for this blog.
The teacher was telling me how they had engaged students in the topic of the importance of self-talk and self-esteem. Students were asked what the most important thing was that one could tell themselves. They eventually arrived at “I matter”.
This experience really caused me to reflect and I am writing this to share my thoughts as well as to encourage YOU to reflect on the same, and inspire you to action. This is something I have really been trying to work on – turning my thoughts into action – the action makes the thoughts meaningful.
A current popular theme nowadays is “mindfulness”. I find the most important central idea to mindfulness is being present, which really means for me, “take notice” – notice your surroundings, notice your feelings, and most relevant to this blog, notice those around you. I think this is extremely important especially when we allow ourselves to get distracted by technology or the busy-ness of our day (which could be another totally different discussion!).
What is the best way to take notice? Listen! Listen to ourselves, our children and those around us.
The best way to do that is to consciously pause (our natural tendency is to respond right away) before responding (if a verbal response is needed at all). Listen first, respond with a question, if necessary.
Here are the questions I have been asking myself:
How often do I show children (students) and those around me that I am listening (and that they matter)?
How often do I stop and focus on the person in their moment?
How often do I ask “Tell me about yourself?” or “Tell me about that?”
SO, on the individual level – notice the things you do that matter.
As an educator/ parent/ person – notice and engage with our children to show them that they matter.
As a person – notice and engage with others around us. What better message could you give someone or give yourself than what is on these students’ desks?
Categories: Principal's Blog