Main Street Elementary School & Kindergarten Center will focus on a CHARACTER TRAIT Monthly. To kick-off this Trait, a special guest has been invited to address the students. The objective is to define the trait, pass on "wisdom" & maybe tell an anecdote about their development w/ a mistake or success, & empower the students to adopt the trait w/ value personally & appreciation for peers that embody the trait. We want students to recognize it in others & be self-aware.
Shelbyville Schools LEADER, Superintendent Denise Bence, addressed the Main Street & K-Center students Tuesday, September 5th regarding KINDNESS which is the September Character Trait FOCUS.
Her message began by having fun w/ me & making sure the students knew she was my boss (which their eyes got big) & that it was my birthday.
The discussion began w/ what body language displays KINDNESS. It starts w/ the eyes. The eyes let others know you notice them, are listening & they are important while opening a comfortable communication channel. Most people smile from genuine eye contact naturally but the next step is a SMILE. A Smile is Contagious & so is Laughter. The students practiced this w/ peers and admitted it felt "weird." Mrs. Bence said that this is normal & the more we did it on a regular basis, the more natural it will feel. The students "practiced" w/ greetings that were appropriate and seemed sincere. "We want to make others smile," said Mrs. Bence. The final activity asked students to think of a compliment & share w/ a peer "putting it all together: eye contact, smile, compliment." Compliments work best when they are specific and timely. You want to compliment people pretty immediately and make it specific. i.e. "I like your shirt" is nice but it doesn't have the effect that "I noticed how hard you worked on the Math challenge problem" or "I saw you inviting the new student to sit by you at lunch & I thought that was really cool" does.
The session ended w/ a "challenge" to make others smile & practice being KIND & share examples w/ their class. Being KIND can have a "ripple effect" & at least a strong subgroup of the student population w/ student leaders can impact the culture of the whole school. We want them to know it & empower them to do it.
The VISION is that it is the "norm" for students to be KIND @ Main Street School & K-Center & to not tolerate "bullying" so that the teachers and staff are not the only ones in the school committed to all students being safe & respected; the students are too and have a role.
The teachers will regularly recognize students as opportunity arises & work this Theme & Symbolism into literature and writing curriculum. The entire school is a TEAM w/ this focus. The aides are aware & the special teachers (Art / Music / PE) are reinforcing as well. The plan is to create an avenue for peer recognition.
We want to EMPOWER , RECOGNIZE, & CELEBRATE these positive traits for future leaders that have the skills & intrinsic motivation to be anything they want to be.
No student will be more prepared for LIFE than our students!
GOAL: Students to know we NOTICE & APPRECIATE their BEHAVIOR & WORK ETHIC w/out turning it into a “Commercial Transaction" so students do it for the SATISFACTION in the ACT itself & the inner PRIDE & not for a constant "CARROT," Extrinsic Reward.