Shaping Young Hearts: The ABCs of Values

Shaping Young Hearts: The ABCs of Values

My dear fellow educators! Let's chat about the age-old debate: should we let our students make mistakes or dive into teaching the right values from the get-go?

I’m sure many of you know by now my love for cats and dogs. I’m currently training four new puppies, and something I heard from my trainer got stuck in my mind. Dog trainers say that we should not allow room for slip-ups for pups. So, are we missing a trick by not laying down the rules with our children early on?

Sure, we're not raising dogs here, but hear me out. Dog trainers reward puppies and stop training sessions when they perform the desirable behaviour to establish good habits. But us teachers?

Many of us believe in letting our students stumble a bit so that they’ll learn from their mistakes. That may be ok in some cases but where do we draw the line? Should we allow them to misbehave and then reprimand them to teach them what’s right or wrong? What is the learning outcome from mistakes that lead to bad behaviour?

I think we should seriously start thinking about flipping the script a bit! Let’s stop desensitising our children to rudeness and violence; let’s make crystal clear what values are all about from the first day of school. We live in a world where children’s offensive behaviour often gets a pass as just juvenile shenanigans. Should we be okay with that? Should a simple "sorry" cut it when someone gets hurt? It's time to throw the spotlight on teaching the right values from the start.

Many of us believe in letting our students stumble a bit so that they’ll learn from their mistakes. That may be ok in some cases but where do we draw the line?

In my humble opinion, prevention is more important than punishment. Imagine this: little Johnny messes up big time, maybe even hurts another child. According to the current practice, little Johnny would get a wag of the finger, a half-hearted apology, and back to business as usual. But what if, from an early stage, we focus on laying the foundation for respect, kindness, and responsibility?

As educators, we're not just here to teach the basics. Alongside parents, we are the architects of character, the shapers of possible future leaders. So why not infuse our lessons with the ABCs of values - empathy, respect and accountability? Let's be the cool guides who not only encourage learning but also instill the right values from the beginning.

I envisage raising a generation that’s not just book-smart but also values-smart. Teaching is not just about the lessons on the board; it's about the lessons that stick with children when they face the wild, unpredictable ride of life.

After all, in our classroom of shaping hearts, the ABCs of values are the real MVPs.

 

 

JD
Geschrieben von Jenny Dooley
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