The news this summer has offered relief on the COVID front (though we’re not out of the woods yet!), as well as tragic evidence of racism past and present.
Thankfully, at Brightling we rarely have to engage the tragic side of the news; part of our role here is to give our children a safe space to learn, and grow, and be.
But we do take our responsibility as educators and influencers of the children in our care very seriously… and that means working every day to model and teach respect, empathy, and love for *everyone* in our community (inside the Centre and out).
Love is inherent; respect is learned
Every child is born with the capacity to love and the need to be loved. They’re born with a social “clean slate,” and naturally form connections with others. It’s only when they see people they respect (family, caregivers, teachers, friends) treating others poorly that they begin to subconsciously categorize people, and treat them differently as a result.
Our promise to our families
As a staff, we take up the responsibility to teach children to respect *everyone* in their world every day. We celebrate cultures and traditions from within Canada and around the world; we welcome people with physical, intellectual and emotional differences; we discuss and interrogate assumptions, in ways small children can understand and engage.
Sometimes this happens through formal programming, and sometimes it’s in response to things children say and do during the course of the day. It’s in the way we teach children to handle conflict and disagreement. And it’s in the way our staff model and insist on respectful behaviour, from everyone, at all times.
As our national community struggles to move forward in ways that will create a better life for everyone, we know there’s nothing more important than investing in a future generation that sees every individual person as equal in importance and value… and treats them accordingly. We’re grateful to our Brightling parents for partnering with us in this vital effort.