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The Importance of Restorative Niches

The title of this blog will make most sense to those who have read the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a powerful reflection on the importance of understanding and leveraging the capacity of both introverts and extroverts in our communities. I will be speaking about this book on Wednesday night at our Principal’s Book Club; however, having recently reread it, I was reminded of why I value my time away over the break.

A “restorative niche,” a term coined by Professor Brian Little and described in Cain’s book, is something one can seek when one wants to return to one’s true self. This restorative niche does not have to be associated with a trip or place. It could be a meditative state, or an approach to communication such as email as opposed to face-to-face conversation. Regardless of what it is, it provides us with the opportunity to regroup, reflect and ensure we are in character.

I am fortunate to get time away over our March Break, and I plan it carefully, often with a large component of it on my own- with books. I crave the time to disconnect, not talk, and be taken away by wonderful fiction and non-fiction. As I head into a break, I wonder just how I will relax, but inevitably, with some quiet, some reading, and some solitude, I come out of my ‘restorative niche’ much the better for it.

This notion is an important one, not just for us as we take breaks, but as we teach and work together as students and staff at St. Clement’s. These restorative niches are possible to create within the context of our space and our days, and if they are created well, then the advantage will be experienced by all.

I can’t think of anything more important than ensuring an environment where we are our true selves.

Please join us for the Principal’s Book Club:
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Lassonde Library
Please RSVP to this event: suzi.leonard@scs.on.ca

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