Oct 03
For Your Consideration

Good morning Parents and Guardians,
This weekend was one of reflection at my home. As we know, Friday was National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Our classes discussed the meaning and importance of the day on Thursday. Each teacher led discussions, with age appropriate content, prompting discussion and conversation. We wore orange shirts to show our support and acknowledge past actions. What I noticed, while driving to work on Thursday, shopping at Costco on Friday, and in my weekend interactions, was children wearing their orange shirts, children talking about the day, children leading the way forward. My observations do not mean that adults did not acknowledge the day. In fact, I saw thousands of adults participating in the evening pow wow hosted by the Siksika Nation and Calgary Hitmen. My observations did make me reflect on the messages we, as adults, send to our children. What am I telling my child when I wear my orange shirt? What am I telling my child when I don’t? What messages do I want my child to receive? It reminded me of a statement shared with me last October, “Privilege is being able to take off the orange shirt and put it in the closet till next year.” Our children are leading the way, they can have meaningful conversations about our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Can you? There are many days throughout the calendar year of great importance. Some connected to our beliefs (e.g. Diwali), some to medical issues (e.g. Epilepsy awareness), others to social interactions (e.g. anti-bullying day). As individuals we all place differing emphasis on each of these days. Presumably based on our upbringing, values, and understanding. As a mother, and educator, I am challenging myself to be more aware of the messages I am sending, explicit and implicit, to those around me. How can I make a difference? I agree with The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who points to education as the key to reconciliation, stating, “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjx2zDvyzsU
As you prepare to celebrate and be thankful this coming weekend I invite you to join me in thinking more about, “How can I make a difference?” However small, we all have impact, all day, every day. Let’s make our impact positive. Thank you for sharing your amazing children with me each day. Thank you for being a part of this amazing community.
Yours in Education,Helen SharpeAFS Principal


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