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Reverse Role Modeling

A few weeks ago, we had our last Junior School-led assembly, run by the Grade 3s. For those blog readers who are not familiar with St. Clement’s, our full school assemblies are a huge part of who we are. Our entire community gathers two mornings a week, and the assemblies are run by students of all ages. Girls from Grades 1-12 provide messages, entertainment, inspiration and advice to all of us in an authentic and empowering way. This inevitably instils confidence and courage in our girls but even more importantly offers unique opportunities for role modeling, not only by our older students for younger ones but also vice versa. You may wonder how it is that our younger students could be role models for our senior students, but the proof was right in front of us at this assembly.

The Grade 3 class led the assembly and it was based on the book entitled Trouble Talk by Trudy Ludwig. This book provides an impactful message about how sharing others’ information as a way to create connections, gain attention or feel powerful does far more harm than good.

At the end of the assembly, the girls provided some advice that I have found myself thinking about even weeks after their presentation. As I considered my blog this week- during what is a busy, stressful and occasionally unsettling time- their words of advice came back to me:

  • When people use the words “No offense but…”  they are most often about to make a statement that is offensive. Phrases like “just kidding” or “no offence, but” often make the person you are talking to feel uncomfortable or insulted. Telling the truth is important, but think first. Ask yourself “Could my words be hurtful or embarrass the other person?” If the answer is ‘yes’, then don’t say anything.
  • “You’ll be sorry”: The words “you’ll be sorry” are threatening and intimidating. When someone gets angry with you, think about what your part was in the argument. Ask what you might have done to make them feel so upset. Threats like “you’ll be sorry” are definitely the kind of talk that will only lead to trouble!
  • When you have an open heart, anything is possible. People can always change for the better. Forgiving people’s mistakes and giving a friend a second chance shows maturity and leadership. If you are the one who hurt someone, you should try slowly to rebuild the trust.

As is so often the case, the girls’ message was one that was important for all of our community to hear- thank you to our Grade 3s for being role models for the rest of us!

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