November 2019 Newsletter
Be Smart, Be Kind
"There are only two kinds of people in the world: good people and good people in pain."
-- Scarlett Lewis
This quote comes from a podcast my wife shared a few weeks ago about teaching kids kindness. It cites a study in which middle school students are questioned about what they believe their parents value more, kindness or achievement. Most of the students report, based on the questions they're asked about their day - "What did you get on that test? Do you have any missing assignments? Why do you have a C in Math"--that their parents are much more focused on achievement. Interestingly, the parents report that they value kindness more. This disconnect might be a clue into the decline of empathy among teenagers.
Lewis, the author of the opening quote, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was killed at Sandy Hook, has dedicated her life to teaching kids kindness and forgiveness. The quote came in response to the question, "Do you forgive the person who killed your son?" WIthout hesitation, she responded that she had.
I think Lewis's words suggest that while we tend to spend much of our energy trying to teach the "bad kids" to be good, we must also be kind to those kids before they become "bad" in the first place. As Ms. Barlow, school counselor at Pierce once told me, "Hurt people hurt people." Lewis argues that not only parents and educators, but students can be explicitly taught how to recognize when someone is in pain, and offer a kind word or deed.
So yes, let's be sure to stay on our kids about keeping that A in ELA, or studying for the SAT, or making sure to keep up the GPA (or excelling in some other acronym). But let's not forget that in the grand scheme of life, being kind is just as important as being smart. If Scarlett Lewis can do that, certainly we can too.
The November 1st Early Decision Deadline: Stress, Stress, Stress, Rejoicing!
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10/31 No Study Sessions (Halloween)
11/1 Early Decision Deadline for College Applications (12th graders)
11/6 Advisory Meeting (10th and 11th Graders)
11/13 Michigan State visit (11th and 12th graders)
11/20 Advisory Meeting (9th graders)
12/4 A Christmas Carol at Wayne State (7th grade)
12/10 Eagle Scholars Info Session (prospective students)
Scholar Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Wilson
"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers." Khalil Gibran
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