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Creating a Culture of Dignity with Nationally Renowned Speaker Rosalind Wiseman

Rosalind Wiseman, our most recent speaker in the GPS Presents Speaker Series, shares her expertise with our community
This week we welcomed to campus Rosalind Wiseman, a best-selling author, teacher, thought leader, and media spokesperson on teen culture and ethical leadership, who spoke to the GPS community—parents, teachers, and students—about Creating Cultures of Dignity. In a world that seems in constant turmoil, Wiseman offered a refreshing perspective on parenting and teaching our girls to embrace that they are enough—even if others try to tell them they are not. She defined the differences between oft-misused terms in our culture such as drama vs. bullying, venting vs. rumors, and respect vs. dignity, and coached each of us to form better responses in times of conflicts.
 
For parents, she offered tools to be a "good villager" in this awesome responsibility of raising girls. "Everyone is your daughter," she said, while also politely suggesting we do not parent from a place of anxiety or anger. In communicating during difficult times with our girls, she implored that we remember it's a moment, not a lifetime, and to keep our reprimands short and give them time and space to process.
 
For teachers, Wiseman spoke as an informed colleague and reminded them that young people actually need conflict in order to learn social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. She defined social-emotional learning as "how we show up" for students and gave teachers tips for helping our girls face conflict realistically.
 
For students, she met with Upper and Middle School students separately, tailoring her talk to developmentally appropriate scenarios. She helped Upper School students better navigate social situations with adults and peers that might make them uncomfortable, anxious, or angry. And she outlined how respect is earned and dignity is a given—for everyone, regardless of shared opinions. For our younger students, Wiseman spoke at length about friendships and the ebb and flow of those relationships that come with growing up. She gave them helpful suggestions when giving and receiving apologies. "It's possible that the other person won't forgive you," she said, and gave them tips on how to respond to an apology that seems disingenuous.
 
GPS Parents: If you would like to continue the dialogue Wiseman started on our campus or were unable to attend and would like to know more, please join us for one of two post-event roundtable discussions. Heather Landreth, Counseling Specialist & Support Services Department Chair, and Casey Caldwell, Middle School Counselor, will host two discussions in the faculty dining room at GPS to reflect on Rosalind Wiseman's presentation: Tuesday, March 12, 8:30-9:30 a.m., and Thursday, March 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m. They will review the top 10 takeaways from Wiseman's presentation and discuss ways to use the information to further our community toward healthy discussions between parents and families.
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