23 May, 2024

CDS Director’s Blog: The Panther Press

CDS Director’s Blog: The Panther Press - 23 CDS Directors Blog
Teaching Kindness, Respect, and Responsibility to Our Kids

Before the pandemic, as the principal of CDS Elementary School, I placed a strong emphasis on teaching values and caring for our students' social and emotional wellbeing. At the time, many families felt that my focus on these "soft skills" was disproportionate and that I failed to adequately prioritize core academics. However, fast forward six years, during which our children endured a pandemic and significant social isolation, and we are now witnessing a concerning rise in unkindness, disrespect, and a lack of understanding of the consequences of one's actions.  

Now, more than ever, it is critical that school and families intentionally discuss values such as kindness, respect, and integrity. We cannot assume that our children will naturally develop into good human beings; we must actively teach them to be caring and compassionate individuals and leaders who contribute positively to society. This is not an easy task, especially as we compete with social media and the often detrimental content that our children are exposed to and seek to emulate. The current trend among young people, particularly middle school-aged students, shows a troubling fascination with cruelty and causing harm to others. 

We have a collective responsibility to support one another and to hold each other accountable—both school and family—for educating our children on the importance of kindness and positive leadership. CDS is committed to setting high expectations for all community members and ensuring the physical and emotional wellbeing of everyone. Let us commit to continuously holding each other and our students accountable for respectful and kind behavior towards others and actively teaching the values that popular culture seems to be leading them away from. 

Together, we can create an environment where kindness, respect, and integrity are at the forefront, shaping our children into the compassionate leaders of tomorrow. By reinforcing these values consistently at both school and home, we can counteract the negative influences and help our children develop into empathetic and responsible individuals. Let's work together to make this vision a reality.