Dear Village Family,
As part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, we encourage students to display the IB Attitudes and we aim to cultivate the IB Learner Profile attributes in all students. One of those attitudes is Appreciation: appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people.
My father, Dr. Des Cummings, Jr. wrote an article for the Celebration News, November edition focusing on just this attitude.
“Throughout history and around the world, religious leaders and philosophers have extolled the virtue of gratitude. Some have even described gratitude as “social glue” that fortifies relationships—between friends, family, and romantic partners—and serves as the backbone of human society.” (The Science of Gratitude funded by the Templeton Foundation.)
My wife, Mary Lou, exudes gratitude, her legacy to our family. “So let the sunshine in” rang through our house every morning as she woke the children up with gratitude for a new day. It was infectious as the gratitude virus caused all of us to join in a pajama parade.
Did you know that you can choose your attitude? We wake up each day with decisions to make. Do I hit the snooze or simply get up at the alarm? What am I wearing to work, to the gym, to school? Coffee at home, Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts? Yet one of the most important choices is that we can choose how we look at our circumstances and at the world and people around us. It is perhaps the one choice we don’t make.
As we approach the season of gratitude,we are reminded of this often-discounted perspective. A wise person said, “The more I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond.” Read the full article here
So what are you grateful for today?
As a school we are grateful for our team who daily pours their love into developing our students. As report cards go out this week and conferences take place next week for PYP Year 1 to MYP Year 3 we are blessed by the passion of our team.
I am also grateful for:
- God, who walks this road called life with us always
- My family who brings joy and love daily into my life
- You, our Village family, as we learn and grow together
On Friday, all these came together as we worshipped in our IB Chapel. Led by MYP Year 2, our students praised God through an interactive reading and song based on putting on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). The service was concluded as Mrs. Rutherford, Ms. Nalani and Coach Morain sang "What a beautiful name".
So how do we encourage gratitude in young people?
A great approach comes from Angela Duckworth and Giacomo Bono posting for Character Lab (Read the full post here).
Model it. Talk about the good things that happen to you: “I love this gorgeous spring day!” Reframe difficulties by highlighting positive aspects: “Work has been stressful lately, but I’m grateful that my boss trusts me with important responsibilities.”
Celebrate it. Acknowledge when someone demonstrates gratitude: “It makes me feel really great when you thank me for what I am doing.” Display thank you notes you’ve received where others can see them. Post Three Good Things on social media.
Enable it. Keep stationery handy for writing thank you notes. At dinner, make it a habit to begin by sharing one good thing that happened that day. Establish a birthday ritual to write notes of appreciation.
So now to action.
With all we are grateful for we are called to give to those who are in need. As a school for the next three years we are supporting the winter clothing project "Keep Them Warm" for YourCamp, the 146 Ukrainian orphans from the war. We invite you to stand with us. We are looking for families to sponsor $100 per child to provide food for one month and a full set of winter clothing. Please watch the attached video to learn more and see the link to give!
So finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power and grateful for all the good he is working in you.
In His Grace,
Head of School