Morning Meeting is a once-a-week time when our entire Middle School community comes together. Although the time is short, it is so very valuable in helping to define our culture, our Mission, and ways we want to live together. Take our Core Values and our Student As Learner (SaL) traits, for example. How can we educators make these values come alive for your children within the context of school? How can we emphasize the beauty of the goal of holding laudable values such as courage, judgment, collaboration, perseverance and the rest of our Core Values and Sal Traits? I have found that there are no simple answers; rather the greatest success derives from providing a rich, varied tapestry of diverse individual school experiences. So, during community times like Morning Meeting, Assembly, Grade-level meetings, and the like, we work to weave our Mission, core values and SaL traits into the fabric of our school life. By doing so, we help young adolescents hold up a mirror for decision-making and provide to them a guide and reason for actions and behaviors.
Our recent Morning Meetings have included a discussion and presentation about our Core Values and our Honor Code, finishing up with an open invitation to sign our Honor Code book. We had several young men volunteer to participate in an exercise about listening—while quite humorous, it served to highlight the value of listening. During the week, every HomeBase group conducted activities and conversations aimed to help increase the ability to listen to another person’s point of view.
Yesterday’s assembly featured a performance artist named Intikana who shared his poetry and music with us while also helping us celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. I think he really grabbed everyone’s interest when he stated that, after 16 years of schooling here in the U.S., he realized he had not had even one hour of teaching/learning about Puerto Rico, his family’s country of origin. His message about respect and understanding fits nicely with us. To learn more about Intikana click here.