Self-worth and Empathy

14 Aug 2020 | principal's update

How beautiful to see our students being strong in themselves and showing care for others? Every day I am touched by the unique and caring ways our children relate to each other and to us.

They are not programmed to judge others by their appearance, their income, their piercings or tattoos. Judging others is a learnt behaviour and it would be a shame to see that creep into our children’s behaviour at school.

Sadly, it is a behaviour that I am seeing more in adults and regularly hear of the school yard gossip where children are judged by the behaviour, appearance, socio-economic circumstances of their parents. It breaks my heart when we are told of the ‘shabby’ appearance of some students. Port Noarlunga Primary School is a public school that is open to all families within our zone regardless of who they are, how they look and what they earn.

Children are incredibly intuitive and they pick up on the feelings that you have towards other children. They have no filter most of the time and tell each other, and us, what is said about their classmates. It is vital that we are aware of the impact of this on the development of empathy in our children. They can’t picture themselves in someone else’s shoes when they are hearing negative messages about others.

As you would have seen by now, I am not governed by fashion or even, good taste in my attire sometimes and I don’t expect my staff, students or families to be either. Our value as human beings is not defined by anything but our character, our integrity and our heart.

My challenge for you is to look around the yard next time you are here and take in the differences you see. Appreciate our individuals and their idiosyncrasies. Value the variety of skills and abilities that we all have to offer.

But mostly…be kind.

Take care,

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