Sometime in the Spring of my freshman year of high school, I had just walked up the stairs and turned the corner on the second floor when a senior punched me in the stomach…hard. I involuntarily dropped my books, put my hands on my knees while I reclaimed my breath. It was “freshman hit day” and yet I still wasn’t expecting what had just happened. The other seniors around the one who had delivered the blow were laughing as they carried on down the stairwell. When I could gather myself, I quickly picked up my books and attempted to act like it didn’t hurt and I was fine. But I wasn’t fine, I was now sitting in English class and could not hear a word the teacher was saying over the anger that burned inside me. I wasn’t even sure I knew the name of the tall, slender senior, but I now wanted to go find him immediately. I finally knew what it meant to be “so mad I couldn’t see straight.”
Maybe you’ve never been unprovokingly physically assaulted, but I’m guessing you’ve been “so mad you couldn’t see straight” before. I’m happy to tell you this type of thing is not tolerated at Kenton High School, but I can tell you we still have plenty of students who become enraged in anger for plenty of other reasons. So, how do we properly handle these emotions personally and how do we help students handle them? Kenton City Schools received training almost two years ago on a program that teaches discipline-driven behavior skills that are critical to an organization’s growth, but also focuses on individual and team development. Ultimately, it is a process that helps people better choose our responses when we get “hit” with life’s punches.
To skip right to the point, it takes a great deal of discipline to respond instead of react. Many of us make most of our decisions based on our emotions at the time and just respond to life’s events accordingly. This training/process encourages us to be self-disciplined enough in the moment to consider the outcome that is best and respond accordingly. Many times we cannot control the events in our lives, but we certainly control our response to those events. The real change happens when we start taking ownership of our responses instead of spending our lives making excuses for our reactions to life’s events.
Once we understand that we actually have control of our responses to life’s events, we can then begin to focus on the types of behaviors that will help us become the best version of ourselves. Within Kenton City Schools, we have worked to develop the beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes we want for our students, as well as our staff. We call that document our Culture Playbook as it helps align our efforts and define what is expected of all within our school. It also helps us communicate clearly what we feel is most important to those within and outside KCS. Therefore, the next few articles will be helping communicate the Kenton City Schools Culture Playbook.