School pride - what is it? what does it look like? how do we know when we have it? These are all illusive questions, the answers to which are pursued by schools all over the world.
You know school pride when you see it, but it's hard to describe. It's something you can feel, and it probably can be heard too.
Last Thursday 7/6D went whale watching (courtesy of one of the student's parents). What a fantastic experience on a brilliant Spring day. After they arrived back at school, I received a call from a member of the public who wanted to talk to me about what she observed after being on the same boat with the class. Since these calls are usually bad news I answered with dread in my heart.
The woman explained that she had been on the boat with her elderly mother and she admitted to being annoyed when she saw they would be sharing their trip with a large group of school children. She had pushed her way to the front and demanded that Justin (7/6D's teacher) let them on first as she didn't want her mother 'pushed over'. She then went on to tell me what an amazing group of children they were - their manners were impeccable, they looked fantastic in their uniforms, she didn't hear the teacher raise his voice once, one of the boys gave his seat up for her mother and so it went on. She concluded by telling me they are a credit to 'that young man' - I think she meant Justin - and a credit to the school. Her mother, at the end of the trip, commented how nice it was to spend the day with young people.
I'm sure you can imagine the pride I felt - whammy, straight in the chest. When I told the story on Assembly the next morning you could see 7/6D swelling up as I spoke. And when the whole school congratulated them and Justin - well, it was wonderful!
It's important to teach children the value of pride - not in a 'I'm big noting myself' kind of way - but as an internal feeling of personal power and competence - that is, a motivating kind of way. Being proud of your school and proud of the people in it enhances a willingness to learn and do your best. And this fosters a personal competence that will carry kids through their future lives and will impact on the ways they view the world.
Well done, 7/6D - we're all so proud of you for showing the world and the whales what Peregian Springs State School does best!