It is March, and even though we are now into what is called “meteorological” spring, it does not feel or look like it. Seems as though the weather refuses to cooperate with me and my need to get on the golf course any time soon!
Speaking of cooperation, this is our character focus for the month. One of the most important attributes we can pass along to our students in a school setting is not only their ability to “get along with” or “tolerate” others, but also the skill set of “working together with” or “along side of” others.
We live in a culture that prides itself on the ability to live in a state of tolerance of others. I must admit, however, that this is a bit of a misnomer in my eyes. To me, to tolerate is to put up with something annoying, like a bum knee, a younger sibling or the barking dog next door.
In reality, our hope is that our students learn to respect and accept one another and foster attitudes of kindness, integrity, discipline and service. One of the best ways to apply these character traits is through cooperation. The more opportunities we create for our students to work side by side with their classmates in school, the greater the chance our students to work side by side with their classmates in school, the greater the chance our students will transfer that skill to other areas of their lives.
Cooperation takes work in large part because we may not always see eye to eye on the matter at hand. A real life example is what is currently happening with our lawmakers as they debate about what to do with a $1.2 billion excess in revenue. A very good thing to be sure, but one that has created dissension as different factions wrestle with what to do with the excess. Crafting a solution will be a true test of their ability to cooperate with one another.
One of the greatest measures of our effectiveness as a school, for that matter, is the ability of our students to transfer what they are learning within the school walls to the world outside. You can help us transfer this important life skill by asking your students about the ways they are cooperating with others in and outside of the school and by sharing with them examples that you see of effective cooperation in action.
One information piece for you is that our spring break this year is March 24-28. We are hoping our students and families will find opportunities to refresh and recharge their batteries for the final stretch of the school year.