I'm noticing a trend in our classrooms. Suddenly, our students have forgotten how to be nice. After talking to my principal friends, I realized....this is not unique to our school. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's not unique to our society. Many of us have forgotten how to just be nice and, no surprise, this is trickling down to our children - even the wonderful children in our school.
What's happening? Whether you want to blame Covid or you want to just blame life, many people have begun hiding behind their computer screens where they feel they can be mean, hurtful, disrespectful, and, let's face it, jerks. You can see it online every single day. A Facebook post, a Twitter Feed, a story on Reddit. People have no filter. They throw insults out with no apologies.
It's no surprise, then, that our children are struggling to understand how to treat each other when they disagree or when someone is different. I have always touted St. Patrick as a place where we treat each other like a family, with love and respect. Yet every day, I have a steady line of kids in my office for speaking rudely, excluding classmates, being judgmental, and just being mean. And you know what...I don't like it.
The outside world is mean. St. Patrick is NOT.
I will not stop spreading this message to our students, and I beg of you to spread it to your own children, too. Set the expectation that kindness is mandatory. Like I tell kids every day, you don't have to be best friends with everyone, you don't have to like everyone, but you absolutely have to be kind and respectful to everyone - all the time. I hope you'll talk to your child about this every single day. If you hear that your child is being mean at school, draw that hard line in the sand. Let your child know that kindness is the expectation always.
We can't do it on our own, but I know if we partner together, we can make a difference!