Reflections 2016-2017

“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!

反思 2016-2017

“你越多进行反思,你就越有效率。”(Hall and Simeral)

在包校,学生家长和他们的孩子一起学习和成长。这是一位家长所写的关于在学校里做志愿者的故事。

《幸存与兴盛》

作者:Teresa Koh

对我来说,过去的这一个月相当忙碌,我忙着参加学校的“仁爱之月”活动,还有不同年级组的品格教育活动。从某种程度上说,品格教育峰会的重要性已经超越了我的自由职业………我的一个好朋友问我,“嘿,你家的两个孩子都已经进入包校了,你为什么还要花这么多时间去做家长志愿者啊?”我笑了笑,没有回答。

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 !

回想起两年前我们刚开始的时候,我们的第一次领导层会议是在我们的一个伙伴的家庭餐桌上举行的,我们甚至没有在学校里预定一个会议室!我们团队里几乎没人知道该如何开始、如何号召大家参与、如何创造感兴趣的东西以及如何把项目搞起来等等,我们对此完全没有头绪。后来我们又吸引了更多没有相关经验的人(包括爸爸和奶奶)参与进来,我们开始用直觉推动此工作,做了任何我们可以吸引孩子兴趣的事情,比如用魔术棒和斗篷以及任何其它可能吸引注意力的道具来装扮。如果我们有哪里做得不好,就会进行回顾和评估,并在我们的下一轮实践中进行弥补。几轮的摸爬滚打之后,我们幸存了下来!

之后的口口相传帮助我们聚集了一大群父母。我们对有这么多有才华的人感到惊讶,他们不仅无私奉献,还给予了我们无尽的支持。他们源源不断的想法、令人惊叹的活力,以及他们对孩子专注的爱,使得他们成为了我们的目标群体!

我们勇敢地组织了一场全校性的活动,主题是“仁爱”。孩子们表达了他们衷心的感谢,感谢我们学校的全体员工。一位品格妈妈制作了一段感人的视频,讲述了学校里所有这些无名英雄的故事。她也回忆起在视频制作过程中的感动,不禁当场潸然泪下。感动了全校许多人。

在项目启动一年后,当老师、学校管理人员、甚至家长们的溢美之词开始涌向我们的时候,我们终于知道,我们走的这条路是正确的。我们当然也觉得,这个项目必须继续发展,因为过去的想法会逐渐过时,会变得枯燥。之后我们有了一个关于学校慈善活动的想法!除了友爱小甜饼、友爱徽章,我们开始培育一棵友爱树,让老师作为友爱使者,同时在学校里进行宣传!一些家长甚至问,我们怎么能想到这么多不同但有趣的想法?我的回答是,“这些想法来自孩子们的父母!”——这群想要和孩子一起成长的父母!

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!