“A man is what he thinks all day long.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
When was the last time you thought about who you are?
I don’t mean the self-affirming thinking that most of us fall prey to on occasion – you know, the kind where we tell ourselves how right and good we are relative to those maniacs on the road, or the grumpy, nonsensical others who enter our consciousness.
I mean the kind of thinking that a scientist would bring to a petri dish.
Thinking is at the heart of who we are. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Even our habits, the ones so hidden in our basal ganglia that they happen without apparent thought at all, are rooted within it.
With this in mind, shouldn’t we all take time to think about our thinking?
We believe so, which is why Think About Your Thinking is a KCS Habit. Reflection and goal-setting begin in grade one. They happen in all subjects, formally and informally, and include everything from our Super Seven learning skills, subject-based skills, extra-curricular involvement to the KCS Habits of Mind, Body and Action.
The grade 6 students, all of whom are participating in our electives pilot, have been thinking about their thinking lately. Each elective is built to develop 4-8 Habits. The Habits were explained, and then students were asked to look for evidence of each Habit, and identify whether they think they are growing or not in each. As an exercise, it is simple in design, but not so simple in execution.
In your life, how are you doing on the following:
- Thinking flexibly?
- Thinking creatively?
- Acting with empathy?
- Showing self-control?
- Listening to understand?
- The other KCS Habits?
We are what we think. Honest self-reflections are just the first step in the job of being a disciplined, successful thinker. Having said that, thinking about our thinking is where it all begins. We can take charge of our thoughts, or be their sidekick. At KCS, we’ve no doubt what we think is the best route.
What do you think?
Assistant Head, Academics