ISY Elementary Blog

The Power of Presuming Positive Intentions

Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal

28 August 2019

On Monday, we will start the academic year. Not on campus but online. Over the summer, we had planned for both eventualities and everything in between. 

It is a funny thing to be excited about something that no-one wanted to happen. Since it was announced that all schools were to be closed, after the initial disappointment, there has been a definite feeling among our teachers of wanting to get on with it and use what we put together over the summer. Almost like a sports team or an orchestra done with practicing and just wanting to play. 

Like any good sports team or orchestra, our teachers will do everything they can to play the perfect game or perfect symphony. However, if these last six months have taught us anything, not many things seem to work out perfectly. But, more importantly, these last six months have taught us that we are stronger working together.

As families and teachers, we are constantly learning about our children and trying to come up with ways to encourage and develop in them the attributes, skills, and knowledge that will help them in the future. Our children are also learning about themselves and are developing their attributes, skills, and knowledge the best way that they know how. Our children want to be successful and so do we as their families and teachers. 

In our compassionate community in a challenging time, we are all doing our best as children, families and teachers and we can therefore presume positive intentions in each other. Presuming positive intentions in others is the most important factor in developing and maintaining positive relationships. This is very important as positive relationships based on presuming that intentions of others are positive enable meaningful conversations about the development of our children. 

In our compassionate community, children, parents and teachers are able to provide and receive feedback and advice from each other knowing that the feedback and advice is given with the positive intention of helping each other. 

This year will continue to surprise and challenge all of us. As a school and as teachers, this year more than ever, we will rely on insights from you to help us meet the needs of your children. There will be organized opportunities throughout the year to provide those insights and this week’s listening conferences were the first of those opportunities. But please know that you are always free to share with us anything anytime that might help us help you and your children. This will be particularly important in this year like no other.

Compassionate Class Agreements

This week, every class worked together to develop a Compassionate Class Agreement. These agreements are made between teachers and students to ensure that every person’s culture, identity, perspective, and experience is valued and included in the classroom.


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