We Walk With Integrity

Our words matter. We follow through. We do the right thing. 

This is another core value of Roots Community School that we not only strive to live by daily, but also teach our students throughout their years attending Roots. It almost seems to be going “out of style” to follow through on a commitment or to own up to what we have said, or walk with integrity, but we need students to grow up knowing they will be held accountable as they become leaders in our community.  Their words and actions matter now and will only matter more as they get older and have larger consequences and rewards depending on their choices.  What does this look like in the daily flow of the classroom, or even when we can’t be in the physical classroom and we are in a virtual classroom?  

 

Student collaboration on a project during recess

Our Words Matter

Choosing our words wisely and thinking before we speak can be difficult, but setting the bar high and having accountability will help students (and teachers/parents/staff/volunteers) develop these skills. We expect mistakes and issues to arise in this area and we take time to address the matter and learn the lesson from these mistakes.  We take the time to apologize, forgive, and work to do better in the future without shaming and holding grudges.  

 

 

Students socializing during lunch at the park

Sometimes our words are meant to be a joke, but it goes too far and someone is left feeling terrible.  Our words matter.  Teachers can take the time in these situations to discuss what happened and how we can apologize and move forward with a better sense of community and build each other up. Also, when one student succeeds, students will often celebrate and tell them how excited they are for the success.  Students are encouraged to use their words to build each other up and encourage each other through hard times/subjects.  Students are all at different levels of learning in different subjects, and instead of mocking a friend who’s in a lower level, students are typically overheard encouraging their friend to keep trying as well as pointing out the areas where that student excels, acknowledging that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. This is part of the Roots classroom culture.Teachers aren’t just reacting to poor choices however, they are actively seeking to choose words that will build up students and other staff/community members and they are encouraging students to do the same. 

 

We Follow Through

Working hard in the classroom

Isn’t this hard during these busy, crazy times?  This is an area where teachers hold students accountable AND students hold teachers accountable.  Students may forget homework occasionally, but they never seem to forget if you promise  them you’ll read another chapter of the book they’re all so interested in or if you promise to bring special snacks. Teachers strive to model accountability by following through with what they’ve promised as well as being accountable to  each other in this small school community! Students know they will be held accountable for items they borrow or tasks they are supposed to complete as well. When in school, all students have cleaning tasks, and are held accountable for getting that task done.  In the virtual classroom this looks more like having work completed, especially when it is a collaborative project and someone is waiting for your piece to be done. Sometimes this requires some scaffolding to ensure students can remember and follow through with tasks, but that doesn’t mean they’re not learning and progressing in this area.

 

 

We Do the Right Thing

Students raising money for the Salvation Army

This statement is pretty broad, but intentionally broad to encompass many areas where we need to step up and do what’s right instead of what is easy or selfish.  This can mean anything from not taking bubble-gum from another person’s locker, picking up trash left behind at the park, holding a door open for another person, or owning up to our actions when they were less than kind.  We feel that providing a holistic education that encompasses all these areas as well as rigorous academics is doing the right t
hing for our students, our valley, and our world.

We hope you can join us sometime, or at least attend a play or an open house when we can have those again!  Sometimes the best way to understand what this balanced, holistic, flexible education looks like is to see it in action and then you can begin to understand what makes it so unique. Until then, we encourage you to walk with integrity, considering your words, following through and doing the right thing!