We will Seek to Understand in every interaction, lesson, and reflection upon our own work and actions.

Besides its obvious connection to the goal of learning and understanding new concepts, the motto “Seek to Understand” speaks to the idea that so many conflicts between humans stem from a lack of communication of expectations/desires, and can be avoided. One of the primary goals of Luff will be to foster clear, open, honest, and positive communication between people (students, parents, and teachers alike). Every person’s goal should be first to understand another’s intentions, and then to thoughtfully respond – not just automatically react – to their words/actions. 

“Seek to Understand” also comes into play when we think about diversity. It’s important to make the effort to understand our differences and cultures so we can be inclusive and compassionate to all. 

Lastly, “Seek to Understand” also applies to how we will approach discipline in the classroom. Instead of punitive measures for students who break our expectations, we should seek to understand underlying causes and motivations of “problem” behaviors, which are themselves a form of communication. Once identified, we can then help the student make better decisions that will actually benefit them rather than disrupting the education of others. Mindfulness, compassion, and social-emotional learning are vital to the development of these decision-making skills.