Our SYC Values

Have you ever sat down to identify your core values? Those things that you just wouldn’t be you with or without? The things that drive your  decisions? 

A few weeks ago the SYC teachers and staff took a look at our SYC values. From a long list, we considered which were non-negotiable, memorable and actionable starting with individual results and then compiling them: 

The top five: 

  • Relationships
  • Caring/kindness/respect/compassion
  • Collaboration/teamwork
  • Growth/risk
  • Child-centered

While not surprising, we were pleased to see how consistent these values were across the staff. We talked deeply about what each of these means, how they overlap, what it looks like and what it doesn’t look like.  

Valuing relationships 

Looks like:  

  • Focusing time and energy on relationships with children, parents, staff that build respect
  • Meeting kids and families where they are
  • Letting parents know their concerns are valid
  • Listening 

Does not look like: 

  • Avoiding each other 
  • Making judgments 

Valuing caring/kindness/respect/compassion

Looks like: 

  • Allowing children the right to take risks
  • Listening to children and supporting parents
  • Setting boundaries when needed (adults and  children) 
  • Supporting others to be their best 
  • Caring about the person as a person, seeing who they are 
  • Being with someone when they’re having hard feelings, not trying to fix or distract 

Does not look like: 

  • Disregarding children’s right to grow at their own pace 
  • Being disingenuously “nice” 

Valuing collaboration/teamwork 

Looks like: 

  • Being able to talk to each other when you have a conflict (adults and children) 
  • Bouncing ideas off each other 
  • Acknowledging that parents know their child, teachers know child development
  • Working together (parents, teachers, directors) to help children 
  • Taking chances, getting out of your comfort zone 
  • Being listened to, valued 
  • Should also remember that this is a work in progress 

Does not look like: 

  • When you can’t share your thoughts and ideas, can’t take risks 
  • One person is the “expert” 

We’re proud of the work we do every day to uphold these values, while acknowledging there’s always room for growth. We will keep these values in the forefront as we make both day-to-day and long-term decisions at SYC, and to challenge ourselves and each other if we seem to stray. And we invite your feedback if you feel we haven’t lived up to our ideals. 

If you’ve never done an activity like this as a family, it’s something to consider, at least with the adults and maybe older kids in your household. What are your family’s values – the ideas you hold close, that guide the  way you behave with each other, the decisions you make? If you’d like the list of values we started off  with, just let us know. We’re happy to share.

… Susan Roscigno, SYC Co-Director