Reclaiming goodness-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
SCHOOL classrooms and corridors contain a full spectrum of behavior, from countless everyday small acts of kindness to serious acts of aggression.
Reclaiming goodness in the school community is an important step toward mitigating negative student behavior.
In Baguio City National High School students who perform random acts of kindness are given acknowledgement and are awarded certificates. Through the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (Praise) and We Advocate Time-Consciousness and Honesty (Watch) program, City High supports the concept that educators can influence the social and emotional climate of schools. One essential aspect of creating emotionally and socially safe environments is noticing, acknowledging, and actively drawing out acts of kindness.
Without a doubt schools are places of tremendous courage, generosity, and thoughtfulness. Some students risk their own social standing by being kind to an “unpopular” classmate. Some students talk with others who appear lonely and try to offer friendship. Many would turn over lost valuables to their teachers for proper identification. Others would share what they have to their less fortunate peers.
As a primary social environment for young people, classrooms and schools are uniquely good places to learn how to treat others and how to tell others the way we want them to treat us. Dozens of times a day, people in schools negotiate interpersonal exchanges with others from diverse backgrounds, making schools a premier learning environment for social, emotional, and ethical learning.
I go with the precept that a key purpose of schooling is to educate moral people. In order to provide foundation to our attempts to produce moral people, educators need to put emphasis on social relationships in classrooms, students' interest in the subject matter to be studied and the connections between classroom life and that of the larger world. As educators we must make it possible and desirable for students to be good.
This means therefore that educators should set the tone by integrating social-emotional education into the curriculum.
By implementing an effective social-emotional learning curriculum and addressing the systemic factors that determine school climate, we can create schools where bullying is rare and where all students are ready to learn.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 29, 2013.