I couldn’t wish for more than what’s happening with our Habits.
We’re starting our third year since the official launch of our Habits of Mind, Body and Action. Anything new needs time to settle, time for all to adjust (or in terms, time to exercise one’s flexible thinking), plus time for glitches to surface and tweaks to be made to make what’s new into a perfect fit.
Lots of such activity took place over the past two years while the Habits were still relatively new. This August, when teachers were asked about how they plan to integrate the Habits in their program for the upcoming year, it was eye-poppingly evident that the adjustment is behind us and we’re now going full speed ahead with our efforts to directly teach the habits that matter most for success in life. Collectively, faculty shared over one hundred ideas they have to teach and leverage the Habits in their classes. Here is a sample:
- Leader of the Day with a special role to help the class
- Class mission statements to support growth of the Habits
- Student-made posters of the Habits
- Student goal-setting on the Habits
- Reference to the Habits in school assignments
- Discussion of the Habits in class meetings and novel studies
- Students teaching the Habits to other students
- Students teaching the Habits to their parents and grandparents
- Connecting the Habits with the study of heroes and leaders
One idea that is particularly out of this world came from grade 4. The students are identifying ‘Star Habits’ and ‘Wish Habits’. A ‘Star Habit’ is a habit they feel they have already established and of which they are proud. A ‘Wish Habit’ is a habit they want to focus on developing in first term. The students looked over all 26 Habits, reflected deeply, made their choices, and explained them in the context of home and school. Star Habit, Wish Habit as their ‘Star’ and ‘Wish’ Habits.
Like the spirit behind our Habits initiative, the students have wishes with a plan. And in the same way that our wishes to teach the Habits are coming true, I’ve no doubt our students’ ‘Wish Habits’ will also come true. What are your ‘Star’ and ‘Wish’ Habits? And what’s your plan to make your wishes come true? If you need some help, feel free to ask one of our grade fours.
Assistant Head, Academics
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.