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Looking at the Bigger Picture

Pearls of Wisdom
By Clara Williams
Looking at the Bigger Picture

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for PTC professional learning experiences. Each day of every program begins with a 'pearl of wisdom,' a 'nugget of knowledge,' or a 'gem of inspiration' from one of the participants. We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this Pearl, Clara looks at the need to actively promote and demonstrate conflict solving and working with the whole community. She discusses how the social world outside classrooms influences what happens inside them. It’s hard to change behaviors and attitudes without looking holistically at the wider picture, inside and outside the classroom. Most kids learn through observation and modeling, so parents hold the key to resolving issues. To develop positive and resilient students, you must have positive and resilient adults. But those parents need support and guidance too. You need to work with the parents as much as the kids. One important strategy is to create restorative circles. They are equally essential in proactively building the relationships and skills students need to support one another and collectively addressing the challenges they face. They are most effective when used as an integral part of school culture. You can’t restore a school community that you haven’t built or sustained.

Clara Williams is a counselor at the International School of Krakow in Poland. 

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