Personal and Social Responsibility - What do they mean at Richmond Secondary?
Personal and social responsibility are common terms in education, but what do they really mean for teenagers? Both can be understood in terms of ethical conduct, good citizenship and sound character. They are based on personal values, ethical reasoning abilities and habits required to participate responsibly in a democratic society. At Richmond High, we want our students to grow as people - intellectually, emotionally and socially - during their time at our school. Our goal is to model and teach the attributes and competencies of a socially and personally responsible person and to expose students to a variety of opportunities to participate in or lead socially responsible activities. The Ministry of Education provides this definition: Personal and social competency is the set of abilities that relate to students' identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.
At Richmond Secondary School, we expect students to be reliable, to behave with integrity and to take responsibility for their actions. We expect students to be resilient and have a growth mindset - it will not always be easy, but to have confidence in their abilities and keep doing their best. Most importantly, we expect students demonstrate kindness, care and respect in all they do - for themselves, for other people, for the school and for the community. We accept that most teenagers will not be working towards solving complex global issues; however, treating all others with respect (even those most different from us), not engaging in nor condoning any form of bullying, treating the school building and surrounding neighbourhood with respect, picking up our litter, recycling and reducing our energy and water consumption and looking for opportunities to genuinely help others are realistic goals for all young people.
Parents can help by modeling & discussing socially responsible behaviour at home (e.g. problem solving strategies; discussing respect and diversity in our community; recycling and reducing energy consumption at home; voting, volunteering, etc.). Similarly, it is important to know what your teens are doing socially (including on the Internet). The goal is to develop capable young people who can think critically, who are interested in and care about the greater community, and, when faced with difficult choices in life, want to do the right thing.
Examples of opportunities at RSS to volunteer, give, lead, connect with and make a difference for others:
Join a volunteer-based club
Grade 8 Camp Leaders
World Vision club
Me to We club
Operation Christmas Child
Global Perspectives program
International Awareness and Fundraising campaigns (e.g. disaster relief, Refugee Awareness Week, World Food Day, Fair Trade practices, Amnesty International, HIV/AIDs day, Vow of Silence day, Pink shirt day, Student Vote, BC Children's Hospital, etc.)
All Richmond Secondary students are urged to get informed, pay attention and make the choice to live differently or get involved to help others.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. (Lao Tzu).