How do elementary aged student understand the concept of honor? This intangible word may be difficult even for adults to comprehend and practice on a daily basis, so how do we walk alongside our students and children, teaching and guiding them to lead a life of honor?
On Friday, April 29th, during the assembly, the Lower School Student Council delivered an announcement to the student body regarding the new Lower School Honor Code. The honor statements were developed by a teacher-led committee in hopes to align with the Middle/Upper School honor expectations, and to also give our younger students guide of how to make personal decisions of honor. The Lower School Honor Code presents these four important statements:
- Honesty: I will tell the truth (even when it is hard).
- Respect: I will respect myself, others, and all things around me.
- My ideas, words, and work will be my own.
- I will encourage others to be honest, respectful, and to do their own work.
Before the honor code was unveiled in the assembly, the Lower School students and faculty heard from two amazing students: Ally Carey, a seventh grader, and Barrett Kulik, a senior who is currently serving as student body president, offered their thoughts about what honor means to them. These presentations were powerful, bringing faculty to tears and engaging the student body in such a way that one could hear a pin drop in the often noisy Gatti Hall.
Barrett spoke about how our actions deliver the message of honor to others – classmates, teachers, parents, our community. When Barrett’s father asks him to mow the grass, he does so out of honor. When he completes an assignment for his teachers, he does so out of honor. Barrett reminded our students/teachers about how our behavior and our words are the truest representations of honor.
Ally spoke about honor, saying to our student/faculty body:
“What is honor? To me, honor is many things. It is an abstract word, associated with truth, integrity, morals, self-esteem, and living a life that values right from wrong….
Don’t let the temptation of winning a game, being more popular or getting a 100% on a test get in the way of your honor. While it is OK to win the game, be popular, or get a 100% on the test, it should not compromise your honorability. When someone falls, give them a hand. When someone feels less than popular, give them your friendship. When someone is struggling, give them your efforts. Although it may be hard at times, do what’s right, do the best you can, and mold yourself into the kind of person you want to be.”
As Lower School Counselor, it is MY honor to be surrounded by students with such integrity, kindness, leadership, and truth. As we unveiled these guidelines for our student body, I continued to be amazed by the level of honor that our students already embody, and the actions of honor that are already displayed inside our school walls on a daily basis. Thank you, parents, for sharing your amazing children with Walker, as we are privileged each day to teach and guide these growing people to be honorable adults.