- Blog By
Sumita Sen Mazumdar
Principal – Erode KG Campus
The Indian Public School – Erode.
March, 03 2023 | In Blog
Core values can be thought of as a set of guiding principles that drive decision making and behaviour in humans. When faced with complexly calibrated stimuli that life is bound to launch our way, the mind may be pulled in several different directions. There could be a struggle between instant gratification of an impulse through inappropriate reactivity and a more wholesome response that could be better in the long run. Those who make a practice of living by core values are likely to be able to tip the balance in favour of more wholesome responsiveness, overall, than those who don’t. Just like a compass that guides those who have lost their sense of direction in the physical world, core values act as a moral and ethical compass that can unwaveringly guide an individual’s general conduct and outlook in life. There are many core values, some more relevant than others, depending on the stage of life.
The right time to start developing core values is the early formative years in kindergarten. Along with exercises of practical life, learning to use our five senses in appreciating the world around us, reading and writing, it is also important we learn how to conduct ourselves morally. At TIPS KG, the following 6 have been marked out as core values to be understood and practiced in the kindergarten years:
Each core value is taken up for a period of 2 academic months by all of Kindergarten. The values and examples of its application are prominently displayed all over campus, inside the classrooms and practiced through activities that reinforce the concept.
INDEPENDENCE: “Do not do for your children what they can do for themselves”
At school, the children learn the importance of self-reliance, how to do things by themselves instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them. They are actively encouraged to practice exercises of daily living, self-care, eating, drinking, dressing, managing personal belongings, etc. Such activities will develop their gross and fine motor skills, enhance problem-solving skills, build decision-making skills, foster confidence and set a strong base for more advanced learning.
PATIENCE: “Good things come to those who wait”
In the months of “patience”, children will learn the important habit of graciously waiting for something, waiting for their turn whether it is in the classroom, in the playground, at a public place with parents, at home, everywhere! Impatience can spoil many a good plan. Haste does make waste and we owe it to ourselves to learn to wait for things to play out, for fruits to ripen to sweetness before we pluck them in nature, or for the right opportunity in work or business. The habit of patience empowers us to analyze situations beyond what we simply see in the moment. When we develop patience, we also cultivate, as by-products, calmness, self-control, empathy, resourcefulness that can make us get the job done more efficiently, get along with people better while maintaining our inner equilibrium and peace. Overall, there is a healthy, positive attitude. Patience gives one the stamina to persevere, be more productive and therefore, a greater likelihood of achieving success at whatever one chooses to do.
RESPECT: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”
At the heart of “respect” is care and acceptance, treating others how we want to be treated ourselves. We acknowledge and accept someone however they are and whoever they are. Children learn to treat others with politeness and consideration, both through actions and words. They understand that it is important to honour others’ feelings, opinions and belongings. They practice how to greet, politely respond to adults and peers, how to ask for permission, saying “thank you”, apologizing, indoor voices, graces and courtesy. Respect in relationships helps to build trust among individuals of all ages; facilitates a positive environment with greater overall productivity. They also learn, importantly, not to tolerate disrespectful behaviour towards them and the tools to respond to such.
GRATITUDE: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough”
Children learn how to focus on positive things and being consciously thankful for what they have. It involves noticing and appreciating the simple things that we often take for granted. Understanding how to practice gratitude throughout our lives can keep us grounded, aligned with current or future goals, and gives us the necessary momentum to keep moving forward in life, no matter what happens. Gratitude is important to maintain mental equilibrium in a world of material excesses and willful misdirection by agenda-driven forces. Children learn to express gratitude to those who make their life better; they use words to express what they are thankful for in their lives, such as having a comfortable home, a loving family and friends. They learn how to do something kind for someone to show their gratitude.
HONESTY: “Honesty is the best policy”
Children learn that “honesty” means we must be truthful at all times; though sometimes it may be hard, it is the right thing to do. Doing the right thing means we have integrity and our intentions are clear. Living a life with integrity is important so that people will trust us. If we lie, people may stop believing us altogether, and like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in Aesop’s fables, if we make a habit of lying, when we really need help in our lives, we might not get it. Lying or pretending for the sake of deception is being dishonest. The children understand through examples, that honesty means being truthful in words and actions too. They understand that there are always consequences when we lie or are untruthful. These consequences can hurt both themselves and loved ones.
COMPASSION: “There is no small act of kindness”
Children learn to show concern and care for the needs of others. They do activities that show compassion for fellow beings, animals and also saving the environment. When children practice kindness and compassion, they become more tolerant of others. They understand and empathize when another may be suffering and this ability of empathy also helps them to joyfully appreciate others’ successes in a healthy manner.
We believe that by introducing the children to these core values, we can help set the right moral foundation, alongside literacy, numeracy and other developmental skills in the early years.