At Living Wisdom School, the teachers are ever vigilant to the quality of the interactions between the students. The teachers strive to model and impart effective methods of self-assertion and conflict-resolution, based on kindness and understanding of other people’s realities.
Parent to Parent
“At my old school, they talked about being kind, but didn’t really care if you were or not. At Living Wisdom School, they really mean it!” — Kindergarten student after her first day.
“People excuse all kinds of meanness by saying, ‘Kids will be kids.’ But at Living Wisdom School, they don’t accept the assumption that kids have to be unkind to each other. Rather, they have demonstrated that children can learn to be kind, and will be much happier for learning.”
“One of my friends asked, ‘Do they teach the children at Living Wisdom School how to deal with aggression, or do they just pretend it doesn’t exist like they do at [another school]?’ I told him, of course they know it exists–these are just normal kids. The teachers work with them very attentively, and teach them how to be part of a group without feeling that everyone has to be and think and act exactly the same.”
“The way they handle conflict resolution is so different from most schools. The teacher doesn’t just say, ‘You were right,’ and ‘You were wrong,’ and then dish out a punishment because there was a problem. A punishing environment just makes children afraid. At Living Wisdom School, the teachers help the children figure out how to solve the problem themselves. Being able to resolve a problem you’re having with someone else is far more important than whatever you were fighting about in the first place. It builds everyone’s confidence. No one has been demeaned. Just think what a different world it would be, if we had all learned this as children!”
“Conflicts are handled so well. There is such trust between the teachers and the students. Teachers usually serve as mediators rather than problem-solvers, often staying in the background to make sure things stay in control but giving the children enough freedom and guidance to develop conflict-resolution skills of their own.”
“My son is learning a wonderful way to be in the world, to relate to people and to himself with kindness and loving care. This skill will help him for the rest of his life, wherever he goes, whatever he does.
“The cooperative atmosphere carries over into the social arena as well. All the kids are included. No children feel left out. Or when something does happen and someone gets their feelings hurt, it is dealt with in a good way. In so many schools, these kinds of personal things are never even acknowledged, much less dealt with. And often they are the most important things going on as far as the kids are concerned.”
“Teachers don’t view recess as break time for them. They recognize that what happens between the kids on the playground is as important as academics. It’s rare to find a school that understands this.”
“My son is not a perfect child, but there is a kindness and gentleness he possesses that I don’t think would be there, had he gone to another school. He was in an indoor soccer league last year, unrelated to the Living Wisdom School, and there was a mentally handicapped child on his team. Some of the other children complained about the presence of this child on the team because he didn’t play very well.
“At one of the practices, the handicapped child came up behind my son and grabbed his shirttail just as my son was ready to streak across the room. I didn’t know what was going to happen, as my son is an avid, energetic player and one of the leading scorers on the team. I had visions of his slapping out at the hands that were slowing him down. Instead, he slowed his pace to match that of the slower child, and they ran off laughing together. At Living Wisdom School, my son has learned to appreciate that people have different needs and different abilities but kids are kids, and it’s possible to have fun without always having to win.”
“The children are friends with all ages. They don’t segregate into cliques. It’s a positive, supportive environment. My children feel safe and protected and connected to the entire school.”
“They learn to relate to other people with respect and understanding. They learn not to be judgmental, but to accept and enjoy the differences in people. They really learn about friendship and to express themselves from the heart. They feel they have total permission, support, and respect just to be themselves. They are not afraid to open their hearts and live from their souls. They know they are loved.”
“My daughter and her classmates are so supportive of each other. They root for one another and take joy in each other’s accomplishments.”
“My daughter is friends with the boy next door–they often play together. But when it came time for his eighth birthday party, he was too embarrassed to invite a girl: the other boys would have teased him. This would never have happened at Living Wisdom School, where there is a wonderful mingling of ages and sexes in friendship.”
“They’ve learned tolerance; they’ve learned to appreciate differences; they’ve learned that the world is much bigger than their own little home and school. They embrace the whole world as their own. I think it’s terrific!”