5 Things: Brother’s Keeper

5 Things: Brother's Keeper

Author’s note: read the introduction to the 5 Things You’ll Only Do At Hyde here.

After Auditions, our explanation of the “5 Things” moves on to Brother’s Keeper (BK) – Our Guardian, Our Catapult.

Key Quotes/Points:

  • BK seeks to create a community of people who care for each other, who make it both safe and an expectation for all members in the community to take risks and pursue their personal best.
  • On face value, Hyde’s definition of BK is simple enough: We help others achieve their best. However, as simple as this may sound, most Hyde students will tell you it’s the hardest thing they are expected to do.
  • Forty years as a character educator has led me to a two-part definition of character: Our guardian against temptation; Our catapult to greatness. BK calls upon us to be both guardian and catapult to our peers.
  • BK symbolizes Hyde’s cultural par. The very act of striving for that par fuels a spirited, healthy school culture while simultaneously maintaining an effective antidote to inappropriate or abusive behaviors.
  • BK typically starts to make sense once a student accomplishes something personally significant. This causes him or her to realize that the positive peer pressure of BK played a key role in his or her accomplishments.
  • While kids may initially fight BK, most come to realize that its magic lies in the very fact that Hyde is such a forgiving place. (Although I grant you, it may not feel like it when you’re out shoveling in February after a Maine snowstorm.)
  • Most traditional schools would have difficulty adopting the BK concept because they tend to cling to an archaic policy of expulsion. (I call it the “Cops & Robbers Syndrome” – the kids are the robbers and teachers are the cops.) Some schools have even been known to “look the other way” when they suspect that students may be violating behavioral standards, choosing “out of sight, out of mind” over getting down in the proverbial muck of underground student behavior.

To read the piece on Brother’s Keeper, hover over the embed below and click the square outline in the lower right corner to view full screen. Alternatively, you can download the PDF here.