Three school rules to live by

Inquiring Minds Civics Engagement

Bring the entire school together to make rules …

Every morning in my middle school, I would attend the school-wide morning meeting where we would sing and celebrate the unity the school worked hard to create. Regardless of which song we sang or whose birthday it was, the meeting ended in the same way: a call and response of our three school rules. Mr. Bobby would pick three kids to recite the school rules, “I will take care of myself. I will take care of others. And I will take care of my community.” These rules were not difficult to remember nor difficult to implement; they were simple and, perhaps, that was the brilliance of it. Whenever a disagreement occurred, we would be reminded of the three rules and, almost immediately, the disagreement would dissipate and seem silly. We were reminded of scope. These three school rules were a way for us, the students, to recognize our levels of engagement.

First, we have ourselves. The most important and fundamental form of engagement is to know and question ourselves. This is achieved through the conscious efforts of introspection. Ultimately, we can only control ourselves and the actions we make.

Secondly, taking care of others is an active choice we can make. Seeing ourselves in others is the truest form of empathy, actively causing us to treat other people with respect.

Lastly, ‘my community’ implies people around you that you directly have influence over. We were reminded of the privilege of being able to help. It might seem as if those you can help is confined to faces you recognize but, in reality, it is much more inclusive of those faces you don't. Having a greater perspectives of the small acts of kindness we can do and how it will affect others, might cause us to do more acts of kindness every day. This could be as simple of picking up a piece of trash on the street, or holding the door open for the person behind you.

Remember those three simple rules: take care of yourself, take care of others, and take care of the community. See if it works for you and the children around you.

– anonymous

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