Circle of Gifts

In order to support the progressive discipline policy of the CBE, Hugh A. Bennett students and staff follow an Aboriginal philosophy that uses the medicine wheel to guide our students.

As stated in The Sacred Tree by Judie Bopp, “This [The medicine wheel] is an ancient symbol used by almost all the Native people of North and South America. There are many different ways that this basic concept is expressed: the four grandfathers, the four winds, the four cardinal directions, and many other relationships that can be expressed in sets of four. Just like a mirror can be used to see things not normally visible (e.g., behind us or around a corner), the medicine wheel can be used to help us see or understand things we can’t quite see or understand because they are ideas and not physical objects.”

Each cardinal direction offers many gifts. At Hugh A. Bennett we look to help children develop the following gifts offered by the medicine wheel:

  • East – Courage
  • South – Compassion
  • West – Respect
  • North – Understanding

Everything a child does in a day can be reflected in the above gifts. Students will work towards filling their own medicine wheel each year with the gifts offered. When a child goes above and beyond to demonstrate a gift or consistently demonstrates a gift as identified by staff then a Good Work Ticket will be awarded. Good Work Tickets are given to students by the principal or assistant principal and are meant to be celebrated at home with the child.

East - Courage

Looks Like:

  • Taking risks in learning
  • Making mistakes
  • Being brave
  • Always trying your best
  • Using your voice to express your opinion
  • Being proud of who you are
  • Being creative and having your own ideas
  • Standing up for yourself and others
  • Standing up for what is right
  • Making new friends and including others
  • Taking initiative
  • Being a leader
  • Persevering in challenges
  • Being a good sport and being okay with not winning
  • Taking responsibility and learning from mistakes
  • Making safe and responsible choices

Sounds Like:

  • “I can try ________ next.”
  • “I can show courage by_______”
  • “I will try by ________”
  • “Would you like to play with us?”
  • “I don’t like it when______”
  • “I like _______”
  • Asking questions and being curious

South – Compassion

Looks Like:

  • Opening doors for others
  • Helping others
  • Everyone is included
  • Knowing that it is okay to have different feelings and recognizing that in others (sensitivity to others’ feelings)
  • Self-regulation (understanding how I feel, how others feel, understanding what I need, understanding what others need)
  • Understanding that what brings me joy, may be different than what brings you joy
  • Showing support and being supportive
  • Giving space
  • Respecting personal space
  • Understanding that everyone is working on different things and needs different tools for learning
  • Appreciation of others’ talents and abilities
  • Helping to clean up without being asked
  • Sharing
  • Offering encouragement
  • Offering praise
  • Being kind

Sounds Like:

  • “Are you okay?”
  • “What can I do to help?”
  • “Please and thank you”
  • “Asking to play”
  • “I’m sorry for ______. Next time I will ________”
  • “I accept your apology”
  • “Can I help”
  • “Good Work!”
  • “Compliments - “I like ____ because ____”

West – Respect

Looks Like:

  • Kind hands and feet
  • Being considerate of others’ opinions, thoughts and beliefs
  • Holding the door open for others
  • Care of materials and classroom/building; recycling
  • Listening with ears, eyes and heart, eyes on speaker; allowing the speaker to finish their thought
  • Demonstrate the same consideration for all guests and staff
  • Digital citizenship
  • Self-care (healthy snacks, sleep, trying one’s best)
  • Patience, waiting your turn
  • Following class and school expectations
  • Sharing and helping others
  • Giving others personal space

Sounds Like:

  • “Please”
  • “Thank you”
  • “I like you”
  • “I like your _______”
  • “Can I use your idea?”
  • “I like your work because _________”
  • “Next time I am going to try and ___________”
  • “Let me help you.”
  • “Do you need help?”

North – Understanding

Sounds like:

  • “Can you help me understand why you…?”
  • Asking questions
  • Seeking answers
  • Being able to articulate what you know, how you know it and where to go next
  • How you know you’ve done well or have finished

Looks like:

  • Eyes on the speaker/body language/listening ears/raising your hand to ask questions
  • Peer and self assessments in learning
  • A process of growth through the year
  • Not comparing yourself to your peers
  • Peers teaching each other
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