Societies all over the world are grappling with a variety of problems and issues. Many are trying to find solutions to their problems, many are scrambling to address the needs of their people. It’s important to acknowledge that societal problems, even environmental and political ones, are products of human behavior.
Indeed, there’s a connection between the various crises we face today and how people behave, produce, and interact. Schools could develop programs that teach more constructive behaviors, inhibit destructive or problem-producing interactions, and contribute to a more conscientious population. At NIA, we have chosen to focus on 4 essential qualities or competencies: Compassion, Conscience, Control, and Courage. These, we believe, will transform and improve the way our students think, behave, and feel towards each other and humanity. These, we believe, will enhance, not just Muslim communities, but society in general.
Our 4 C’s are not just written on paper and hung on walls, they are woven into our program. We have woven them into 5 major components of school work:
Students actually receive classic lessons in the 4C’s, all of which are aligned with Islamic teachings. Islam offers a whole literature, Quran and Hadith, of pro-social skills, attitudes, and knowledge.
RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
All of our schools rules, classroom rules, and teacher expectations are aligned with the 4C’s
Our students participate in daily routines, like morning meetings, acknowledgment meetings, and class-specific routines like “kindness jars,” all of which instill and develop the intended pro-social skills.
TEACHER ROLE MODELS
Students get to observe the competencies in adult role models because the adult role models have been trained in SEL education. Teacher’s also use teacher language, like reinforcing words and acknowledgement, when they catch students performing a prosocial act.
Our school community is built on Compassion and Control. Students understand that in order to maintain a safe and welcoming environment, we must practice compassionate acts, control our hands and mouths, and be conscientious towards others.