The most important principle governing how we approach students’ academic, social, and emotional development—“The Lowell Way”—is holding the utmost respect for them. In face-to-face interactions, it means being truly present, listening actively to understand each child’s thoughts and feelings, and responding with empathy. It means helping children develop the language to ask for what they need, build healthy relationships, and realize their own finest moments.
Lowell’s regard for children compels teachers to honor the process of learning and growth. Our energetic and insightful teachers embrace their roles as facilitators and guide students to take responsibility in their learning. Teachers set limits in a firm and friendly manner and expect children to be part of the solution when conflicts arise. Children develop positive self-esteem from doing; they are praised and supported at Lowell through descriptions of their work and actions.
The language teachers use with children is deeply influenced by the work of educator and child psychologist Haim Ginott (1922–1973). His book, Between Parent and Child
, highlights the importance of using empathy and carefully chosen language to demonstrate respect for children and, in turn, inspire their respect.
By understanding and engaging in respectful interactions and relationships, students become responsive listeners and expressive communicators. They can collaborate to solve problems and resolve conflicts, as well as recognize when to enlist the assistance of teachers and other mentors. These are the outcomes of The Lowell Way, and they enhance each child’s self-worth, quality of learning, and sense of community.