Sunday, March 8, 2020

March 8 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  This past Friday afternoon was a hard one for many of our staff members and students due to the fact we had to bid farewell to Mrs. Amy Taylor, a beloved 6th grade science teacher.  She is leaving her position at McCall because she was offered a wonderful career opportunity that she was not able to pass up.  Mrs. Taylor’s decision to take a different career path lead me to think about the idea of Ikigai.  Ikigai (pronounced “EE-Kee Guy”) is a Japanese concept which can be loosely translated to “a reason for being”, and some calls it “the reason you get out of bed each morning”.  Residents of the island of Okinawa in Japan have the reputation of living long lives, and many of those who study and write about Ikigai often attribute Okinawan’s longevity to their embrace of Ikigai. 

When you are thinking about ikigai, you are considering four aspects of yourself. Those are:

· What you love (your passion)

· What the world needs (your mission)

· What you are good at (your vocation)

· What you can get paid for (your profession)

The convergence of these four elements of your life is your ikigai.

I am sharing this with you because you have heard me talk about RULER, SEL, and how we teach students to be in touch with their emotions and regulate them when they are triggered.  However, we do a lot more than teaching students about their emotions.  Our work with performance-based tasks is about teaching our students knowledge and skills, how they fit into the students’ interests, and how their interests, skills and knowledge relate to the rest of the world.  Our job, essentially, is to guide our students on a journey to find their ikigai.

The Venn diagram below sums up the central idea of ikigai.

On a separate note, please remember there is no school this coming Friday.  Also, I have included below an announcement from the district’s Wellness department.

Next Tuesday, 3/10, noon to 1:30pm, in the Waterfield Room (Town Hall), Jon Mattleman will be presenting the latest Winchester Coalition Lunch and Learn series: Bringing light to suicide- supporting community members to respond to suicidal statements and actions. This engaging talk will teach community members the Q.P.R. (Question, Persuade, Refer) approach to supporting someone presenting with suicidal statements and/or behavior. The saying "It takes a Village" could not be more accurate when speaking about how to support other community members and our youth, and this training will make sure we all have more tools in your toolbox.

Thank you and enjoy your upcoming week even though we will start it with daylight savings time change, followed up with a full moon, and end with Friday the 13th.

James Lin


McCall Middle School

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