In a world of increased uncertainty I believe that we must remember the importance of teaching values that will allow pupils to understand the importance of collaboration over isolation, the importance of being a member of a community that cares for others and allows kindness to be a force for good. My inspiration for this post comes from the words of Nelson Mandela,
Many thanks to @HealingMB for reminding us of the words of Nelson Mandela. Quite simply, when we are born we have only love in our hearts yet as we get older we are taught to hate, it is a learned emotion. For this alone a Classroom should focus on tolerance and kindness as a means of developing skills for future generations .
In terms of inspiration , it is true to say that Values based Education, went a long way to influencing how I work on a daily basis. If I wanted pupils to be polite, then this must first be taught. To take for granted that pupils should be courteous without having been giving an understanding of what this means is as difficult as teaching handwriting without any pencils.
How can we teach tolerance in the Classroom?
Tolerance, is an extremely difficult value for pupils. When they fall out with a friend on the yard, tolerance is the furthest emotion from their mind but it is exactly at that point of heightened emotion that adult intervention can have the greatest impact . Without a shadow of a doubt, if a member of staff can assist in helping the pupils to discuss their feelings and talk about the incident, it is more often than not defused and resolved and the pupils walk away from the incident talking with each has other.
Within the early years Classroom, tolerance of others is key in teaching children to share with others. The importance of telling pupils that sharing is very important and that to snatch from others is wrong, is a skill for life. Staff that teach young pupils are always tolerant and they use their imagination to provide pupils with lessons on how to work with others. How we model our reactions as teachers is therefore key in teaching others.
Developing emotional literacy is therefore crucial. To tolerate situations is often a feature in my assemblies. Many reasons for pupils disagreeing with each other often stem from the smallest beginnings. A child might bump into another by accident yet the reaction of the child that has been bumped will depend on whether the child that accidentally bumped into the other had apologised and made it clear that they didn’t mean to bump into them and even ask if they are okay. Many assembly stories resonate the importance of an apology and resonates the importance of being tolerant above the cries of anger and frustration.
To be tolerant is also to teach that we are all equal. Within the curriculum, it is important to provide opportunities to discuss equality whether in terms of race, religion or social background . The journey of tolerance in a classroom will always gain inspiration from historical incidents or personalities. The people that we choose allow us to teach tolerance and we therefore have a duty to choose people with care.
A strategic approach to teaching values is essential. They need to feature in policies, plans and visibly seen in action around the school.
This is definitely my favourite quote when teaching kindness in School.
If all adults model kindness within the Classroom then pupils will learn how to behave with others however we often take it for granted that pupils are aware of how to be kind. In my experience pupils can demonstrate all emotions but it is our responsibility to teach and remind the children in our care of the importance of being kind.
As with tolerance, this requires a strategic approach. Values need to be taught in order for children to fully understand the power of a kind word or action. What price a smile?
😁 😃 😆 😊 🤗 ☺
A smile a day can wipe away any insecurities that exist within a child. A kind smile from a teacher or Headteacher as they are greeted every morning can truly make a tremendous difference to the start of a day.
Again, the stories we teach have to be considered carefully. Are we considering the importance of kindness in our choice?
Caring for others:
To care is to share,
To share is to hope,
To hope is to believe
That we have each other
To support us through the day!
If we have taught the values of tolerance and kindness then caring should become second nature to pupils.
I realise that pupils will always fall out with each other but I firmly believe that how we help pupils to deal with these situations are key components of a caring School.
Our School Council always choose a charity and organise events for us during the year. Our support of a number of charities, has further increased the capacity of all pupils to care for others. A collection for the local ‘Food bank’ makes them realise that not all pupils go home to a warm plate of food. They are continually demonstrating care for others.
Our ECO group continually care for the School environment. The importance of caring for our School then develops into a care for their community and the World.
Providing pupils with the opportunity can begin with a School pet. I have no doubt that the pet in our School is spoilt rotten but the care and attention from the pupils is worth every minute spent with Morris.
Sometimes children can unlearn the importance of caring especially if it isn’t an experience that they have in their daily lives at home or where they play in the street. We will never really know how pupils live but we shouldn’t take it for granted that caring is something that they have in abundance. We must always provide them with the care and security that they need.
I firmly believe in the teaching from Jesus that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. I would rather be treated with care than hatred and hopefully I model that care to others.
How can we achieve the above?
– A strategic, whole school approach is required
– As adults in the Classroom we need to model these values
– Provide opportunities to learn from stories, historical events or personalities and improve how pupils understand and respond to these values.
School can’t be the answer to all the problems that exist in the World but I would argue that we are an essential part of the solution .
This post does not try and forget that we need to raise standards. I would argue that a tolerant, kind and caring Classroom provides the opportunity for collaborative working and allows the children to learn from mistakes and also from each other.