Disclosure :: this is a sponsored post.
Compassion and Kindness :: Virtues for the Life of the Mind
One of my heroes is Mother Teresa. Selfishly, because of her compassionate work establishing an orphanage in Delhi that would eventually enable my infant daughter’s adoption so many years ago. Professionally, I admire her because she always led with her heart. My life was forever changed with that parenting experience, but at the time of anticipating my daughter’s arrival, I was naively unaware of how deeply my personal and professional identities would become entwined, even to this day, in such wise words: When working with children, always lead with your heart.
Through the years, teaching young children has more often taught me their great strength and resilience under stress and hardship. It’s not easy growing up, especially when life throws physical, emotional, and/or societal obstacles in your way. My daughter has had serious health problems all her life, detouring her often from her dreams with bursts of reality, but she takes them all in stride and has set her career path to help others with similar struggles. There’s a difference between compassion and pity, mind you, and she has demonstrated that mindset in so many ways since I have had the privilege to know her.
Every other week at Morning Meeting, I focus my readings to students to highlight character strengths, most notably compassion and kindness so far. Before fifth graders went off to Second Harvest to help others less fortunate, we read The Lady in the Box, by Ann McGovern, which speaks to homelessness in a storyline that encourages children to experience authentic compassion. To bring close the heartbreaking sense of being excluded and teased by classmates, we next read about a homeless child’s school experience in Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson. For Country Day’s upcoming Veteran’s Day commemoration of the start of WWI, we will read the story of The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans, by Barbara Walsh, about a schoolteacher’s lifelong compassionate dedication to honor and remember all those who have served their country in times of struggle.
Country Day Parents may wish to find these books in a library, or have family conversations about compassion and kindness. Either way, I hope you help your children lead with their hearts…
A Pre-K Education at Country Day’s Bart Cottage
Country Day’s Pre-Kindergarten program, housed in Bart Cottage, is a special place for joyous learning, where young children grow together while they prepare for Kindergarten and beyond. At Country Day we follow the philosophy of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in the idea that our youngest students “…learn through active exploration of their environment, through children-initiated and teacher-selected activities.”
Our program provides exciting opportunities for students to explore their environment, including our beautiful 14-acre campus, to interact with peers and adults, and to construct knowledge about the world around them.
Our teachers are our heroes. They know each child so personally, and take into account their skill set and life experience. Armed this knowledge, they are able to move our tiniest Cajuns to the next physical, emotional, and cognitive stage, at the appropriate time.
No one is rushed, but everyone is challenged to explore their abilities.
Our curriculum is outstanding. Pre-Kindergartners are provided with academic experiences that will help them to excel in reading, writing, mathematics, and problem solving. Through daily exposure and practice our Pre-K students become confident in their abilities and ready for the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and communicative skills.
One of our primary goals with children of this age is to foster social and emotional growth. We know that it takes work to help young children develop the ability to negotiate issues, to take turns, to lead and to follow, and to be a friend. The social and emotional development of young children is strengthened when they develop good self-esteem and a positive self-image, and have secure relationships with their parents, teachers, and peers. At Country Day, we lead from the heart, and allow the journey of a lifetime to begin.
Who :: all greater New Orleans parents of rising Pre-K students (boys and girls)
When :: Tuesday, November 4 at 6:30pm
Where :: Country Day Dining Room (300 Park Road :: the dining room is at the front of the school)
RSVP :: Requested by emailing [email protected] or calling (504) 849-3110
More Information :: email [email protected] or visit https://www.mpcds.com/openhouse
Lilian Mullane, Lower School Principal
Lilian Mullane has served as Country Day’s Lower School Principal since the fall of 2011. A graduate of New York University, Lilian went on to take her Masters Degree in Elementary Education at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and her Master of Education in Early Childhood Policy from the prestigious Teachers College of Columbia University. She was previously lower school division head at Awty International School in Houston and also served as lower school division head at Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. Committed to lifelong learning, Lilian has multiple professional publications ranging in topic from local history to early childhood education.