FHN Hosts Dignity Workshop Over Break


By Allison Cavato, Excalibur EIC

On Jan. 3, students, teachers and administrators came into the building to work on something the FHN Community is trying to build: Dignity. About a month before, on Dec. 3, administration hosted a dignity workshop with selected students and a few teachers, but this time, administrators wanted to go further and have the whole teacher staff and selected individuals attend. Head Principal Nathan Hostetler led this three hour workshop. Throughout the workshop, everyone had the opportunity to learn and grow as a community.

“[The first workshop] was great,” junior Addison Lee said. “I loved it. I thought that it was very meaningful and impactful and eye opening. I also thought it was necessary, not just something they were just doing to do.”

At the beginning of the workshop over break, everyone was asked to pair up with someone who they thought had an opposite lifestyle as them. Shortly after, members were handed a list including questions such as “favorite food, favorite music, dream car.” Without speaking to one another, partners were asked to make assumptions about the other and answer all the questions. This was used as a warm up activity to show how people tend to assume things about others just by their looks.

“I learned that he [Mr. Parker] is very family oriented,” Lee said. “Even though he doesn’t and didn’t want any of his own kids, he really values his family. He is also very in touch with his feelings which you wouldn’t be able to tell from surface level.”

As partners became more familiar with one another, they were then asked to pair up with two other teams. Hostetler then asked group questions such as “What was the best meal you have ever had?” and “What is the best gift you have ever received?” while telling his own stories as well. By asking these questions, groups opened up about more personal subjects in their life.

“A lot of students only view teachers as teachers but in reality, they do have a family and they have a real life,” junior Brendan Gannon said.

The whole goal of the workshop was to have teachers and students understand how important it is to realize that everyone has their own story and their own experiences. Attendees had the opportunity to open up about what they have gone through in life. From these activities, students, teachers and administrators were able to learn more about one another and understand each other on a deeper level.

“It’s always funny to me, because students don’t always see their teachers as ‘real human beings’ and I think it opens teachers eyes,” Social Studies teacher Mike Parker said. “If teachers spent the time having conversations with students that they have, they would find out more than they probably know.”