“He took my pencil.”
“She cut in line.”
“He won’t let me play soccer at recess.”
These are typical conflicts that arise. Conflicts are a part of life, but conflict management is a life skill for students to learn how to handle problems first before involving adults.
Recently, I have spent time with our students teaching some basic conflict management techniques. Here is a list of items to help your students manage situations at school and at home.
1- First you need to cool off and think clearly. You might be upset and you might need to walk away and calm down before you get more upset.
2- Speak directly to the person. If you have a conflict you want to address it with the person so that it can be cleared up. You do not want to go tell others as a way of spreading gossip.
3-Speak assertively. You can speak directly to that person and still get your point across in a assertive way instead of an aggressive way.
4-Listen to what the other person has to say. Be willing to listen to the other person. It’s normal for us to care about our own hurt needs, but by listening you can understand why the other person behaved in this way.
5-Have options. You cannot control what others say or do, but you can control your own actions and words. Here are some options when you have a problem or conflict with another person; come up with a compromise, talk out the problem, share and take turns, walk away, tell them to stop, find another group of friends to be with.
Conflicts are a part of life, but conflict management techniques can lesson the negative effects. By practicing these techniques at home and at school, students can be better equipped to manage conflicts first before involving others and before they go from small to big problems.
It’s that time of year again. Re-enrollment/Enrollment. Time to recommit to StMM for next year or time to choose StMM as your new school. Every year we have to ask ourselves, “Why StMM”? These days there are many options for school: secular or religious private school, traditional or year round public school, charter school, homeschool, etc. Why did you choose StMM?
Before the “Why” you have to remember the “How”. You had to consider a number of pluses and minuses. You, perhaps, made a checklist or even a spreadsheet. Or maybe you didn’t but you kept all this info in the back of your head. Here are some things you considered:
After you took all that info into account, you had to ask yourself, “What is most important to me?” That one thing should outweigh all other aspects of school choice. It should outweigh all the minuses. It should be a huge plus. What was your #1 reason for choosing StMM?
I know why my family first chose StMM. I know why we continue to choose StMM year after year. We choose it for the people. Yes, StMM has great academics, fun clubs, various sports teams, a strong religious presence, cute uniforms, a safe environment, skilled teachers, involved administrators, lots of volunteer opportunities and a generous, service-oriented environment. But that’s not why we choose StMM. For us, it’s all the people that make up StMM: the kids, the parents, the teachers, the administrators, the office and church staff, the coaches, Father Staib and YOU. YOU help make StMM the great village that we need in order to raise our children to be great people. YOU make this school our home. YOU are our #1 reason for choosing StMM.
Why do YOU choose StMM?
Steps to help you decide:
Things to consider:
Private vs. public
This past weekend David Legarth, from Brown Bag Ministry, kindly asked me to come with him to deliver the shoes we collected last week from StMM’s St. Nick Shoe Drive! I was so honored to be able to distribute the 581 pairs of shoes to the neediest members of our community. We drove the Brown Bag Ministry truck, which was filled with shoes, to the Oak City Outreach Center in downtown Raleigh near Moore Square. There were people lined up at the center eagerly awaiting our arrival. We wanted to distribute shoes immediately after the lunch that the center provided. The essential items of food and shoes are often taken for granted. It brought the entire meaning of Christmas to the forefront of my mind. In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey, with the help of an angel named Clarence, realized the things that were truly important in life. It wasn’t about the lost money at the bank, but how George helped everyone in the town throughout his whole life.
Our school helps others in more ways than we think. To see the eyes of people gleam with excitement when we put the shoes on the long tables is an amazing sight to behold. Knowing that our school was able to give them shoes for the cold winter ahead was very rewarding. In some small way, on that wintry day, we helped make life a little brighter for 121 people!
Providing the necessities of life to others is a humbling experience. It puts the worries of our life’s daily events in a proper perspective.
Father Staib mentioned preparing for Jesus’ birth in today’s homily. We are preparing our hearts to help others, our minds to think of ways to come to the aid of others in need, and our souls to love everyone.
May you find the true spirit of Christmas this holiday season!
As I walk around the StMM campus, I see signs of the seasons of Advent and Christmas everywhere I look. The angel tree is in the school lobby next to the collection bins for our St. Nick Shoe Drive. Hand-made Advent symbols are hung on trees in the classrooms, reminding the children that we are in a time of prayerful waiting as we approach Christmas Day.
This week we gather together for our annual Christmas pageant, a celebration that is a renewal of our commitment to our faith. Each year, we appreciate the dedication of our staff and students as they prepare for this performance. Our band, strings and handbell students have been practicing for months! It is traditional at StMM for our second and fourth grade students to participate in the pageant and they look forward to getting the opportunity to sing Christmas carols or to portray Mary, Joseph, an angel or a king. This year we even have a hen and a rooster!
Participating in the pageant helps our children to learn the importance of the season as well as the events in Christ’s life. There is a small wall-hanging in the school that includes this verse from Matthew (10:27): ‘What you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.’ This is exactly what our students are doing in the pageant performance.
At StMM, we also gather as a school to celebrate the season of Advent. Every StMM alumni can sing the ‘Light the Advent Candle’ song – we have been singing it every year since we opened in 2000. The Advent prayer service is an opportunity for our middle school students to act as disciples of Christ and lead the rest of the school in prayer and song.
I am proud of our Advent and Christmas traditions here at St. Mary Magdalene School. They are just one way we educate our students in their faith, and they are the heart and soul of a Catholic school.