Front Page News: My School

Norris tiger

Normally, when your school is featured on the front page of the local newspaper, you can expect the worst. But when the headline is “How a Southampton School Teaches the Meaning of Respect,” you know some good vibes are coming your way. That was the headline of our newspaper last week as a columnist with a project dealing with bullying and respect issues in our area visited our school to see what we are doing on these issues.

“As I walked through the school’s foyer, I was greeted by a hand-carved wooden sign with ‘Welcome’ in nine languages … the philosophy of this school was clear to me in minutes — development of character is as important as development of knowledge. After all, both play equal parts in who we become,” Christine Wu wrote, near the start of the article.

She then learned about our schoolwide efforts with two different social development programs — Response Classroom and Peacebuilders. While slightly different, both programs not only make students accountable, but also find ways to teach nurturing of community, and respect for everyone around them.

She ends her piece by noting that, “I’m sure that Norris school is not free of student conflict. No school is. However, they appear to be taking positive, constructive steps to address social awareness in their school.”

Yes, to both points. And I am proud to teach in a school like mine, whether we get these kind of headlines or not. There’s a lot of positive energy, and lots of great teachers, all around me every day, and the students respond to that in kind.

Peace (in peace),

PS — you can read the entire article here at the online site of The Daily Hampshire Gazette.

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