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Compassion is Observing Without Judgement

All around me there is silence.  I am writing this as I sit in my family’s kitchen at our farm early in the morning on our Family Day weekend. I treasure this time as it allows for reflection and pause.

I smile as I think about the day spent outside yesterday building snow forts and collecting icicles with my niece and nephew; about the numerous freshly baked cookies that I consumed in short order from our local bakery and about the opportunity in the afternoon to lie around reading with the same nephew and niece sprawled over my siblings and me.

I cherish weekends away with family, as they are times when one can let one’s guard down. Despite ups and downs in life you are with those who really know you, and who don’t judge but observe and support along the way. That is what family does.

It was this thought that brought me back to a comment made some faculty members on Friday during our PD day. We had asked them to reflect on what intellectual curiosity, courage and compassion- traits that St. Clement’s focuses on developing in our students- look like both in learning and teaching. One response to how compassion was evidenced in learning was “the ability to be an observer rather than a judge.”  To be sure, this is vital for all of us to remember as we focus on fostering the confidence and courage to take risks in our teaching and learning.

Everyone at St. Clement’s, parents, staff and students, is here because of the exceptional academic experience we offer; however beyond that it is our unique close-knit community where students from Grades 1-12 work and play together that is important. In many ways, St. Clement’s is a family too. We support each other, work through difficulties and are guided to engage, reflect and avoid judgment. There is an authenticity to our community that allows for this.

I may be away for the weekend with my own family, but I have great pride in my broader family!

Happy Family Day.


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