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Cliff's Corner - 9/7/2017

posted Sep 8, 2017, 11:46 AM by Admin at Winterhaven

Counselor's Corner: 

Hi all: For this year, I'll be checking in every week on what I am doing in the classrooms. I will also suggest a topic to talk about at the dinner table, which could hopefully initiate a conversation.   


In the classrooms, I will be spending the month of September focusing on kindness and team building.  We will do some activities and challenges (ask them about the counting activity from last week, it was really hard for some of them) culminating in a collective art project that we will hang in the front hall.  The teambuilding will be most intense in the classes that have new students, especially 6th grade where we welcome more new folks than those who have been here.


If you weren't stranded on an island all summer, you might have heard about some increased tension in our country around race. The PTSA and staff would like our Winterhaven community to dig deeper into our beliefs around race this year. I'm still riding off the energy of this summer so let's start with this for a talking point:


Thomas Jefferson feared the "Tyranny of the Majority" - That 50.01% could rule the others with impunity in a democracy. How do we make sure to respect the rights of minorities in this culture?  How could we improve on this?  How could each of us, as individuals do better? I encourage you to zoom into race on this, but you could open with minorities of every type to get the ideas flowing. Obviously, adjust for age, but don't dodge discomfort.  Embrace it, and as a former professor of mine once said, "Use discomfort as a tool for motivation".

--Cliff Shaw, Winterhaven School Counselor;