Harker News periodically steps into classrooms and then shares what students are learning with the school community. This classroom exercise, courtesy of Stacie Wallace’s grade 8 students, shows the compassion and self-awareness our students are embracing and holds lessons for us all.
“As part of our work in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,'” said Wallace, “we eighth grade teachers have been working with our students on ‘laws of life’ that are exemplified by characters in the novel, such as Atticus, the father everyone wishes they had. We extended that outward and asked students to come up with and share some of the rules for living that they embrace. In my classes today, I’ve had them work in groups, talking with each other about these ‘rules’ and who taught them to the student, and then we’ve compiled lists of them.
“I think when you read them, you’ll know that there is hope for the future. I heard some very heartfelt and sincere words offered about an older brother, a grandpa, a mother who has passed away, and about many, many more people, all adults, who have helped describe the world to their kids and show them ways to live in it successfully. It’s more than encouraging!” she finished.
Some of the Values We Embrace in Life
by Eighth Graders
You miss every shot you don’t take.
Try not to give in to negativity; optimism is better.
Give without expectation of something in return.
Respect is earned by showing it to others.
Live by the rules as long as it doesn’t conflict with your values.
Don’t lie; it’s always better to be honest.
Try your best at what you do. Don’t aim for perfection.
Do the right thing even when no one is looking.
Treat everyone as equals.
Stand up for what you believe in.
If you have self-control, everything is easier.
In adversity, don’t crumble.
Others’ judgments don’t have to be taken to heart.
See a need, fill a need. (Community mindedness!)
Be brave enough to think for yourself.
Nobody has enough time; make time for what you enjoy.
Focus on your own life, not others’.
Value independence. (But …) It’s not necessary always to be independent.
Be thankful for what you’ve been given.
Character is doing things with no reward in mind.
Don’t overthink it.
Be nice to everyone, no matter what.
Trust others, but don’t depend entirely on them.
When a leader is needed, step up and take responsibility.
Talk is cheap; actions speak louder than words.
Skills outside of school matter.
Solve problems rather than look to blame others.
Be selfless; look at the big picture (Community mindedness!).
Only work to impress yourself.
Embrace humility: See yourself realistically, not as entitled.