Reflections

30

November

2018

30 November 2018

Dalat feels that it is very important we teach our students to be contributing citizens in whatever community they live. To be a positive citizen, Dalat encourages students to serve compassionately and to live ethically.

As you know, this year Dalat replaced the old ESLRs (Expected School-Wide Learning Results) with something we are calling our Flagships and Student Outcome Statements. During the first quarter of school we looked at and discussed our first Flagship – Scholarship. During this second quarter we are focused on the second Flagship which is Citizenship. Dalat feels that it is very important we teach our students to be contributing citizens in whatever community they live. To be a positive citizen, Dalat encourages students to serve compassionately and to live ethically. This week we will look at what it means to serve compassionately.

The word compassion literally means “to suffer together”. Compassion starts with empathy. Empathy is the ability for someone to understand and feel what another person is experiencing. In a sense, it is when someone walks in another person’s shoes. The key difference between empathy and compassion, however, is what you do with the empathy. Compassionate people take the empathy they feel for others and turn it into action. They don’t just feel, they do.

This call to action can be seen in our Student Outcome Statements that describe what a citizen who serves compassionately does. All of the statements involve action.

A Dalat student serves compassionately by:

  • Showing respect
  • Giving generously of their time, talents, and finances
  • Putting God and others above themselves
  • Leading through positive choices and actions

I often say that the greatest thing about Dalat is our students and I say it because it is true. As I look at the above statements, I see them happening every SINGLE day in our student body both on and off campus. A few months ago, as I was driving by some stores, I saw one of our students sitting and talking to a homeless man. A couple days ago I saw an older student run over and pick up and brush off an elementary student who had fallen. Our new high school teachers are always shocked when they start working here because many of their students will thank them as they head out of class, every day of the semester. The examples or our students serving compassionately goes on and on and on.

I am often inspired by our students in this area and would challenge all of us in the Dalat community to be people of compassion; that we would take action to help those around us and be people who engage in our communities.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.

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