Archives for 2018

Empathy + Compassion = Kindness

By Jill Bridge, Licensed School Counselor

It is the season of hope, love and joy for many as they celebrate the holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. As people enter the holiday season they are embracing empathy, compassion, and kindness. Regardless of how large or small a gesture of kindness is, each gesture is a way to teach our kids, families and community about empathy and compassion. We shouldn’t need an award or recognition each and every time we show kindness. Knowing that you did something good and kind should be an intrinsic motivator to repeat it again and again. The goal should not be fame and fortune but about knowing that the kind act was meaningful and impacted another person’s life in a positive way.

Empathy is feeling or understanding what someone else is feeling. It is important for kids and adults to realize that two people may have very different feelings about the same situation. Understanding this concept will help us put ourselves in others’ shoes; we take the time and energy to look at life from their perspective. Their viewpoint may not be the same as yours but it is important to realize that is ok. For example, I can like you, I can respect you, but I don’t have to have the same feelings and thoughts as you. We are all different, and as such, we need to respect those differences.

Once the person has the ability to understand another’s perspective, the person can start to develop empathy for others, which can evolve into compassion. When you have empathy for others, you can say or do many things to show care and concern. Saying something kind or doing something helpful for others are examples of showing compassion. Imagine what our community would be like if we took that extra moment to think about another’s feelings and did something to show compassion. As a family, talk about ways you and your children can show compassion for others. During the holidays, there are a variety of opportunities to show compassion-some that cost money while others don’t cost a dime. For example, you can contact the animal shelter and help take care of the animals, you can donate to the Salvation Army red kettles, shovel a neighbor’s driveway, leave a note and/or word of encouragement for a coworker, or any idea your family holds dear.

Kindness is an overall theme that emerges when we model empathy and compassion, with kindness being the end result. Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. How do we decide when we are being compassionate or spreading kindness? Can they be the same thing but labeled differently? They definitely can be.  The list of ways to show compassion above are ways to show kindness. When you are being compassionate you are also being kind. In order to know the best ways to be compassionate and kind we need to walk in the other person’s shoes, and use empathy.

Empathy, kindness and compassion are skills that are taught. They are not innate traits, they are learned through discussions and by seeing/hearing examples. Be a role model that helps others understand empathy, compassion and kindness. We are role models for children, family members and even strangers. Embrace the holidays, spread kindness and cheer through using empathy and compassion. Kindness goes a long way not just during the holidays but each and every day of the year.

Activities: December 24 – 29, 2018

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Interim Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Tiger of the Week: Emma Olberg

Emma Olberg, girls basketball, is our TIGER of the Week for December 17 – 21.

Emma Olberg – Girls Basketball

Emma leads the team in rebounds, assists and assist/turnover ratio. At 5’7, Emma tenaciously guards the other team’s best player, whether she be 5’1 or 6’1.  Her defense often sets the tone for the Tigers to go on a scoring run. She leads by example and her work ethic is a model for all who follow her.

Activities: December 17-22, 2018

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Interim Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Holiday Celebration Outreach Dinner

Tigers of the Week: Charles Tramp & Seth Grob

Our TIGERs of the Week are Charles and Seth:

Charles Tramp – Knowledge Bowl

Charles is a great role model and leader in practice and in competition. He always has a positive attitude and ensures not only his but his teammates best effort forward. He communicates clearly to team members to strategize and find opportunities that opponents expose while being gracious not only in defeat but their success!

Seth Grob – Boys Basketball

Seth has started the year out strong as the leading scorer on the team. He is averaging 16.5 points/game.  As a Senior Captain, he is showing his leadership skills by helping the new and younger players on the team. He came to the start of the season ready to work hard everyday in practice. Because if we don’t get better everyday, we’ll end up going backwards and Seth doesn’t want that to happen.

Character & Respect

Good Character Starts with Teaching Respect

By Bill Carlson, Middle School Assistant Principal

 

One of the biggest responsibilities and challenges in our schools, homes, and communities is teaching our youth respect. While researching for this article, I found a plethora of information regarding this subject. The most common problems noted in my research were: school/community culture, lack of accountability in the home setting, exposure to violent media and deficient adult example; particularly in professional sports, the entertainment industry, media and political arenas. The negative influences of today’s secular culture are causing considerable impairment to our youth’s understanding of the value of respectful, courteous behavior.

Every person who is in contact with youth has a responsibility to model and teach courtesy and respect. However, this responsibility falls most acutely on the shoulders of the child’s parents and adult mentors. Our youth observe our every interaction, both at home and in the community. They watch closely how adults verbally and physically interact with one another. They learn how to interact and conduct themselves from these examples. Our youth need and desire a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Sadly, due to the problems listed above, our youth are often inundated with mixed messages, poor examples and unclear expectations.

Apart from family, school educators and extracurricular staff spend the most time with youth during their ‘formation’ years. These adult mentors and their school districts play a very important role in the character development of their students. Teachers, coaches, advisors, directors and support staff are all role models to their students. Modeling good character and leading by example is imperative to a healthy school culture. The vast majority of my research supports the implementation of Character Education Programs district wide. These programs are adaptable and can be used in the classroom setting, advisory setting or in the home.

Community youth leaders and coaches also play an important role in helping our youth develop good character.  Many of our local churches have faith formation and youth groups that meet on Wednesday’s during the academic school year. These environments offer our youth many positive examples of integrity and self-giving. Community and association based coaches/adult mentors have the perfect opportunity to reach and teach our youth important lessons in sportsmanship and positive character development. If character development is not a principal element in any of your child’s extracurricular activities, there is something deeply lacking. It is up to us as parents and adult mentors to bring about this change.

Like with most elements of mastering a skill or desired behavior it takes clear expectations through direction and education, consistency in practice, encouragement, opportunity and guidance. All these things need to be offered to our youth by their adult mentors. It is important however, for adults to recognize that youth don’t always get it right; that they need, ‘do overs’, and, as an adult mentor, being flexible instead of rigid will get you much farther in your desire to teach these important life skills. During my research I noted a common thread: that most parents desire to be their child’s, ‘friend’.  It is felt that this parenting approach is actually detrimental, and causes confusion and mixed messages for the child. Youth want to be friends with their peers. They need the adults in their life to be their guides, mentors and disciplinarians. Adults need to listen to young people, their reasoning and opinions. In doing this we are showing (modeling) respect. Having the attitude, ‘It’s my way or the highway,’ does not teach respect, it teaches fear and resentment. It closes doors to teaching opportunities instead of opening them. Sometimes as adult mentors we need to be strict about enforcing rules regarding conduct, but that does not mean being reasonable is removed from the equation.

I will end this with a favorite quote that has circulated for years in the arena of character development.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Activities: December 10-15, 2018

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Interim Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Tiger of the Week: Bella Thovson

Congrats to Bella Thovson, Showstoppers Dance Team, on being named the TIGER of the Week.

Bella Thovson – Dance

Bella is a multi-sport athlete with overlapping seasons. She just completed her state swim season and only had 7 practices to learn both her varsity high kick and jazz routines to compete at our home invite. Bella shows a tremendous work ethic – any other athlete may have asked for more time. Not only did Bella learn the routines, but she was also competition ready. Bella has the grit that it takes to be a successful athlete.

Activities: December 3-8, 2018

Click Here for this Week’s Activity Schedule

Click Here for more information about Hutch Tiger Activities

Activities Director – Thayne Johnson, CAA
Phone: 320-234-2698
Email: thayne.johnson@isd423.org

Interim Administrative Assistant – Amber Larson
Phone: 320-234-2647
Email: amber.larson@isd423.org

 

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools