Monthly Key Value Letter

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November 3, 2018

Dear Mill Pond Students and Families,

As you all know at Mill Pond our key values are essential and they guide our daily interactions with one another. Learning together about our key values and demonstrating them on a daily basis will help all of us to maximize our potential and be resilient, empathetic, skilled, and productive global citizens. I am excited to write to you this month about EMPATHY!

Having empathy is an essential skill that is required to be a successful member of society! Unfortunately, in the news we see example after example of people who do not have empathy and do unkind things to others. These people were not taught how to be empathetic and are lacking this essential skill. In Westborough and at Mill Pond we are fortunate, people are empathic and know that building and maintaining strong relationships with one another is required in order for us to be successful and happy. So what is empathy? Turn and talk, share with someone what it means to you to show empathy/be empathetic.

Here is what a few famous people have said about empathy:

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” – Jesse Jackson

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own. ”  – Henry Ford

Having empathy is a key ingredient to becoming the best person you can be. You can practice empathy by:

  • listening to someone rather than trying to talk to them
  • asking someone how they are feeling if you think there is something wrong
  • learning about people from different backgrounds and cultures
  • showing concern and care for others
  • paying attention to the needs of others
  • getting to know someone better instead of judging them

I feel very lucky to work at Mill Pond where I see/hear students and staff showing empathy for one another as well as the larger community. As nine, ten, and eleven year olds I know that there will be times that you might make a mistake and forget to show empathy and that is okay. There are many adults at Mill Pond that will help you fix your mistake and teach you more about empathy! In addition to the daily examples of empathy that I see and hear, there are some larger examples of empathy happening at Mill Pond this month. There are students writing letters to Veterans thanking them for their service. Students/families have generously donated needed supplies to our soldiers, as well as food/supplies to our local food pantry. At Mill Pond “Learning and Caring” are not just words that recite as part of our touchstone, they are our daily actions and without empathy for one another this could not occur. So this month I challenge you to feel and show empathy for one another in and out of school!

Sincerely & Empathetically,

Ms. Kovaleski