In an ideal world, school would always be a place of harmony, love and peace. Most days in many ways, it is, but our broken human nature manifests itself occasionally, and we have less than the ideal. Still, we strive for what is good, beautiful and true. Each year we ask all students and parents to sign a Pledge of Respect. The purpose of the pledge is to remind us of the direction we want to go with our behavior. Signing it does not mean your child will never do anything opposed to the ideal, but it enables us all to strive for the goodness for which we were made. We hope that the kindness contract creates an opportunity for dialogue for you and your child(ren). It creates dialogue within our classes here at school, also. The intent is not to imply there is a void in anyone’s home environment and parenting, rather to remind us to the goodness to which we are called.
The first year I was back here at St. Peters in 2010, I read the contract which Sister Mary Alma had initiated and thought, “Yes, that’s nice, but they all know that, surely.” The following year I knew better, yes, they do know they need to be kind, but, as a holy old priest often reminded us in formation, “The memory is a faculty which forgets.” (Maybe some of you knew Father Holly.) The purpose of the contract is to remind us of how we should treat one another, and to encourage dialogue about kindness at home.
The pledge of respect for grades K-2 reads:
As a child at St. Peter School, I will treat all other children kindly. I will try to be a good friend to all and to make no one sad by my words or actions.
If I am angry with another child, I will pray for them, use the skills I am taught, and ask the help of an adult if I need it.
St. Peter School belongs to Jesus Christ. It is a school only for children who wish to treat others with kindness. I wish to treat others with kindness.
The pledge of respect for grades 3-8 reads:
As a student of St. Peter School, I promise to respect and to treat with kindness all other students attending this school. I will not purposely tease, annoy, cheat, exclude, hit, kick, pinch, or push other students. I will not steal or damage their property. I will not say unkind or untrue things about other students. I will not laugh at them meanly, nor try to make them look foolish in the eyes of their schoolmates. Rather, I will try to befriend and to uphold the good reputation and dignity of all students in this school.
Like St. Peter, I will be a true and courageous Christian in my manner and in my dealings with others, even those who it is hard for me to like. If I am having an ongoing problem with another student, I will pray for this student, use the skills that I have been taught, and if necessary, ask the help of an adult.
I pray for God’s grace and blessing in this important endeavor. I realize that failure to treat other students with love and respect may result in losing my privilege of education at St. Peter School. St. Peter School belongs to Jesus Christ. It is a school only for those who desire to follow His way of life. I desire to follow His way of life and will treat others with respect.
Copies of the pledge should be coming home with your children today. I invite comments on the pledge following the blog.
God bless you and all of us here at school also.
Sister Mary Michael, CK