It’s all about respect
I am old enough, sadly, to recall the self-esteem movement. Everything that the students did was amazing. We were terrified of low self-esteem. We attributed everything to low self-esteem, from students who appeared shy through to being a bully. We now know, with the wisdom that comes through experience and research, that an over inflated self-esteem can be equally problematic, leading to children being self-obsessed, irresponsible, unmotivated, disrespectful, and even bullies.
One of the gurus in this area, Professor Toni Noble, co-author of the well-known Bounce Back resiliency program, says that instead schools and parents need to foster self-respect, and this is fundamental to the Positive Education program that we are authentically implementing at Investigator College this year. We work on six components of self-respect.
- Self-knowledge (knowing our strengths, and that we all have them)
- Self- management (putting our ethical values into action)
- Self-confidence (using positive self-talk, acknowledging that mistakes are inevitable, but that we can cope, and we can learn from the experience)
- Self-trust (valuing feedback but also having faith in our own judgement)
- Self-protection (shielding ourselves against bullying and respecting our own bodies)
- Respecting others (humans, animals and the environment)
Another area which our students are familiar is shifting from fixed mindsets to growth mindsets. A fixed mindset operates on the premise that intelligence and abilities are fixed traits, whereas a growth mindset works on the belief that by working hard at something, we can improve, with the application of grit and persistence. A growth mindset requires us to confront our mistakes, rather than hide them, and to learn from them. We might still be in the “not yet” stage of acquiring a skill, but through effort we can get there. As parents we can model this at home also in our own actions, and in our discussions with our children.
Each year we provide some parent education sessions and in response to numerous requests, we have arranged for Australia’s foremost cyber-safety expert, Susan McLean, to speak at Investigator College. Formerly a member of the Victorian Police Force, her messages for parents are not to be missed. More details will be sent soon but please mark Thursday evening, 10 June, firmly in your diaries. Susan will return the following day to work with our students on this important topic.
Thank you for supporting us as a College as we align ourselves with the high standards of Adelaide’s finest Anglican Colleges. We want every Investigator student to be the best possible version of themselves, and sometimes this involves being firm with expectations and boundaries. Our staff team is incredibly dedicated and we look forward to continuing a strong partnership with you.