It’s a good thing to be Humble: Humility in our School Systems


‘It’s a good thing to be Humble’, my Grandmother once said many years ago. Sounds simple enough, but I always come back to that statement in my life. How can something so simple, have the ability to affect our lives so greatly? Humility one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings, and is basically the act of behaving modestly, and respectfully toward others, is something that we may not see enough of today. Especially in this Digital and Information age of online networking and Social Media, with the purposes of self-promotion.

However, this is also a concept that can become lost within our schools. With the education system firmly entrenched in teaching skills that help students survive in the global, and greater culture, we can often forget to consider the stakeholders of our education system, and the real populations that attend our schools.

Humility is a cornerstone of many cultures, including the First Nations, Metis, & Inuit population. The concept of humility has always been firmly entrenched within the cultures that exist today among Aboriginal peoples since time immemorial, including today. Teachers need to keep this in mind when they are working with the Parents and students of First Nations, Metis,  & Inuit descent. Despite the fact that the last Residential School closed in Canada in the 1980, schools can still come across as hostile places for families with Aboriginal backgrounds, who often still feel that assimilation is necessary in order to succeed. However, inclusiveness and humility are necessary to help all families feel welcome and important.

Humility is an important concept to embody when dealing with students and families with special needs as well. It is certainly easy to forget, especially when Educators feel overwhelmed. Educators do not have all of the answers, nor do they have better qualifications than any other parent who is a part of the school to advocate and help their children. It is this aspect of our Board-level Improvement Plans, and Provincial and Federal initiatives that we need to put first on our list, in order to teach the ‘whole’ student, and learn from and with them as we continually co-create our classroom communities. It is important to ensure that teaching practices and strategies both overtly, and covertly, embody humility and respect for everyone involved. No one knows their child better than the parents. Lets express our Humility to all families, and work together in holistic ways to educate our children.



D. McCallum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.





3 responses to “It’s a good thing to be Humble: Humility in our School Systems”

  1. janetlee Avatar

    It is easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of teaching to lose humility and respect. It can be the most difficult thing to earn once you have lost it.

    Thank you for this article.

    Janet Lee
    We Inspire Futures


    1. BigIdeasinEducation Avatar

      Hi Janet,
      I agree with your comment! We don’t have the answers to everything in terms of education and the learning process, and it is important to be open to other points of view, and respect the work that others have done, and have brought to the table, in order make the learning experience better for all!

      Thank you!


  2. […] competence! When working with a student with special needs, then be willing to demonstrate Humility and an openness to obtain the help of experts in order to learn what is necessary to work with […]


Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: