Executive Director's Corner

headshot of Executive Director, Sharon Collins
Dear Families and Community Members,
 
It’s great to be back to a predictable schedule as the days are getting longer and spring gets closer!  Here at school, we’re continuing our empathy theme in advocacy classes and extending the learning from caring for self to caring for others. 
 
It’s important for students to understand that when we care for others, we are showing that we are invested in their well-being and that we are willing to take action to support them. This can take many forms, such as offering a listening ear, providing a helping hand, or simply being there for someone when they need us. Caring for others can also involve taking steps to advocate for others and support them in their efforts to improve their lives. 
 
Our students will continue to learn how to communicate their own feelings and learn skills that allow them to listen and respond to the feelings and needs of others.  They’re learning that when they are able to see things from the other’s perspective, it makes communication easier because they have a better understanding of the other person’s thoughts, emotions, and actions.   
 
Students will practice receiving and providing feedback.  They will also be learning how to identify varied perspectives, recognize nonverbal cues, and develop mutual solutions. 
 
All valuable skills with many opportunities to be utilized that will benefit users for a lifetime!   
 
Practicing empathy and caring for others is not always easy. It can be challenging to put ourselves in other people's shoes, especially when we disagree with their actions or beliefs. Additionally, it can be difficult to know how to best support others, especially in difficult or complex situations.  
 
Despite the challenges faced by practicing empathy and caring for others, the effort is worth the payoff of building positive relationships and fostering a sense of community. 
  
In Service, 
Sharon Collins 
Executive Director, Westgate Community School