“The more reflective you are the more effective you are.” (Hall and Simeral) At Pao School, we have parents that come alongside their children to embrace learning. This is a reflection written by a parent about volunteering with character development at school.
Survive & Thrive Written by Teresa Koh
The past month has been a hectic one for me. Kindness Campaign, Character sessions for different year groups, Character Summit on top of my freelance work……… to the extent that my close friends asked me “ Hey, both your kids are already in YK Pao, why are you committing so much time as a parent volunteer?” I simply smiled and had no answers for them.
At our school’s Character Summit in November 2016, we met and talked to some teachers from other schools in China, one common question that was posed to us was how our school managed to get parental involvement, especially in Character Education! They have encountered difficulties in their own schools with parents’ reluctance to be involved because they have no time or simply can’t do it. They were amazed how parents here in YK Pao are so dedicated and committed!
Rewinding back to almost two years ago when we first started, our first leadership meeting was held over one of our team mates home dining table, we didn’t even book a conference room in school! The few of us were clueless on how to start, how to gather people, how to create something of interest and how to pull things together. We pulled in more clueless people (dads and grandma included), jumped in and launched it based on gut feel and did whatever we could to grab kids’ attention, such as dressing up with capes, using magic wand and any props that might grab attention. What we lacked, we reviewed, evaluated and made up for it at our next session. And for several sessions, we SURVIVED!
Word of mouth promotion helped us to gather a larger troop of parents. We are so amazed at so many talented people, who are not only dedicated, but also given us their relentless support, their endless ideas, their incredible energy and their mindfulness of kids being our target audience!
We were brave enough to run an entire school session on Compassion in which kids expressed their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to our school’s staff at all levels. The Character mom, who produced the touching video featuring all these unsung heroes behind the school scene, was teary even when she recalled the production of the video. Many hearts were touched from this school-wide event.
We know we are all on the right path when compliments from teachers, school management and even parents start to pour in after a year into our volunteers program. We certainly feel the need to THRIVE, as ideas are getting old and dry. Then out came an idea for a School Kindness Campaign! Apart from the attractive gimmicks such as Kindness Cookies, Kindness Badges, we started to grow a Kindness Tree, involved teachers as Kindness Ambassadors and the school was in hype! Some parents even asked how on earth we could muster so many varied yet interesting ideas and my reply was “It’s from the parents! Parents who want to thrive with their children!”
It’s true! As written in Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, parents hope to SURVIVE and get through the daily struggles with their children. It is also parents’ wish to see their children THRIVE in their learning, school and endeavors!
“你越多进行反思，你就越有效率。”(Hall and Simeral)
在2016年11月包校举办的品格教育峰会上，我们遇到了一些来自中国其他学校的老师，讨论了一个共同的话题：包校是如何让家长参与到学校教育中的? 尤其是在品格教育方面！他们在自己的学校遇到了困难，父母不愿参与其中，因为他们没有时间，或根本做不到。他们很惊讶包校的父母竟然如此愿意投入时间和精力 ！
这是真的！正如丹尼尔·j·西格尔(Daniel j . Siegel)和蒂娜·佩恩·布赖森(Tina Payne Bryson)的《全脑儿童》(Whole Brain Child)中所写的那样，父母们希望能在与孩子们的日常“斗争”中幸存，同时也希望看到他们的孩子在学习、校园生活和自我努力中茁壮成长！