IB learners strive to be caring
They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
This is often seen as the most straightforward and easy to implement of the Learner Profile attributes. However, there is more to consider than it might at first appear. Being kind and friendly certainly fall under the umbrella of caring. However, we can also care for people we don’t know, for our personal possessions, for our physical and natural environment, and for the planet.
The EC students have just begun to study the idea that we have relationships with other living things that share our environment. By the end of the unit, they will not only understand which things are living or not, and what they need to survive, but they will have begun to explore how their actions can make a positive or negative difference to a variety of living things.
Grade 1 have already considered how our choices affect our environment, and have realized that reducing, reusing and recycling have a big impact on our world. Many of them have taken student-initiated action, including one group writing a proposal to Mr Lorenzini for starting a compost project at school. Check out some of their other ideas for action on their blog http://istgrade1.wordpress.com/
In an upcoming unit, Grade 3 will be exploring the issues connected with the fact that while water is essential to live, the Earth has a limited amount. Their growing understanding of this issue will hopefully encourage them to explore ways they can care for Earth and others by reflecting on and changing their behavior.
Grade 4 students showed an increasing understanding of the rights of children everywhere, and their discovery that these rights are not always met led to many actions. A powerful choice that many students made was to take a vow of silence for a day, in respect for those children around the world who do not have a voice. An excerpt from their assembly on children’s rights can be found on their blog http://istgrade4.wordpress.com/
Some suggestions for how to be caring include:
- Perform random acts of kindness
- Look out for each other’s well being
- Help with housework
- Reuse your water bottle
- Pass on toys and books you don’t need to others
Can you add to this list? Send your ideas, and your photos of people caught being caring to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or add comments below.