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Love is at the Heart of Stanley
Posted by Stanley Communications on 3/10/2022 3:00:00 PM
Love is at the Heart of Stanley
When I visited Julie Colthup and Emily Sprayregen’s K-1-2 class in February, they were writing about Love. Here are the children’s words:
Love is calm and safe
Love is peaceful and playful
Love is happy and kind
Love is mindful
Love is easy
Love is caring
Love is sharing
Love is including people in the play
Love is being with your friends and looking out for them
Love is good sportsmanship and helping someone up
Love makes other people happy and hopeful and loved
Love is being you
Love is when you have a very tight connection with someone because no matter what happens in either of your lives you stick together.
Love is integrity and respect
Love is friendship and nice
Love is family and friends
Love is warmth inside
How to spread love is: giving hugs
Giving stuff that you really want to someone else
Being nice and kind when playing with others
Love feels good
Love Is You.
Love is being respectful to the Earth and people.
Love is joy and spreading our love to the world
Love Is Love.
Love is not typically talked about in the context of a school setting; and yet, it is a driving force for parents, teachers, and students. There are many kinds of love, the love you have for your children, the love you have for your parents, the love you have for your extended family, the love you have for friends, the love you have for your dog, the love teachers have for students. Many languages have more than one word to describe love; the Greek language has seven!
Stanley teachers show their love many times every day in small ways like following up on something the student said or did, bending down to have a conversation at eye level, providing a resource about a passion or interest, supporting at a challenging moment, or sharing a new perspective. Stanley teachers listen deeply everyday. Educator, Parker Palmer, explains the value of listening, “Behind their fearful silence, our students want to find their voices, speak their voices, have their voices heard. A good teacher is one who can listen to those voices even before they are spoken-so that someday they can speak with truth and confidence.”
He goes on to list what it means to listen to a voice before it is spoken. “It means making space for the other, being aware of the other, paying attention to the other. It means not rushing to fill our students’ silences with fearful speech of our own and not trying to coerce them into saying the things we want to hear. It means entering empathically into the student’s world so that he or she perceives you as someone who has the promise of being able to hear another person’s truth.” Each of these ways of listening is love in action. As Katie Russell, former K-1-2 teacher and current teacher coach, says, “Small things can make a huge difference and our teachers fill their classrooms with love through small actions every day.”
As witnessed in our K-1-2 classrooms in February, our youngest Stanley students understand the power of love. As Regie Routman, says in Read, Write, Lead, "It’s always all about relationships, in school and in life. When those relationships are genuine, caring, and trusting, all things are possible.”
May we all remember and experience the power of love in our lives.