The Director of Elementary Education for KPBSD, John Pothast visited
our building on the first day of school this year. His initial comment as
he walked down our entrance side walk was “lots of positive energy
and smiles.” While the fact that we had two Turbo 1000 bubble
machines going, Dixie Land Jazz cranked on the Bose, and party flags
lining the path certainly helped in that department. I also believe
that the efforts we made that 1st day are indicative of our approach to
school culture all year long.
The overriding principles for school culture at Mountain View
Elementary are kindness and responding to conflict in a positive
manner. In fact, the first 7 weeks of school contain age appropriate
lessons and activities in these areas for all grade levels. It’s really hard
not to smile when someone is kind to you and, equally as important, it
puts a smile on your face when you are kind to someone else.
Teacher’s constantly use the verbiage “that was kind of you to….. “
when conversing with students. This helps students to develop the
self-identity of a kind person and perpetuates the student seeking
opportunities to be kind. Conversely nothing sucks the energy out of
the room like a nasty conflict.
Conflict is natural, whether it’s between adults, students or a
combination thereof, it’s pretty hard to avoid. It’s how we deal with it
that makes or breaks our day. By responding with specific, positive
strategies and common language that avoid power struggles and guilt
we can move forward and maintain the positive energy for a successful
The initial strategy we work on is “Positive Questions”. This basic
strategy asks that we all assume positive intent. That perhaps the
person we are in conflict with did not purposefully seek to annoy us or
break a rule. Questions starting with “Did you know…” are quite
effective at deescalating a conflict and starting the dialogue to
positively resolve a conflict.
So, while every day at Mountain View Elementary might not include
bubbles, jazz and party flags you can be assured that we have
Below is our newsletter for August 2017: