SMUS Scholar in Residence: Linda Kavelin Popov

by Nancy Richards, Director of the Junior School

Last Friday, the Junior School staff and students were fortunate to have an opportunity to meet SMUS Scholar in Residence Linda Kavelin Popov, founder of the Virtues Project. The entire Junior School has embraced this project in order to help create a positive, caring and empowering culture for the children in which to learn and grow.

Ms. Popov captivated everyone in assembly on Friday morning with her stories and then she spent a generous amount of time with each class sharing strategies for using the Virtues and teaching students to think about their ‘strength virtues’ and their ‘growth virtues.’ At lunch, Ms. Popov spoke to staff about the challenges of balancing one’s professional and personal life and she shared a number of strategies from her book, The Pace of Grace.

Ms. Popov also enjoyed her day at the Junior School! She was impressed with how well the children are using and applying the language of the virtues in their day to day interactions at school. She marvelled at the process the School went through to identify the Pillars. She saw these as our Foundation Virtues. In her words she says, “I am still smiling after enjoying a magical experience of the Junior School culture of compassion, excellence, joyfulness and idealism the staff, parents and students have created.”

Students Talk About Ms. Popov’s Visit

“I thought that Linda Popov explained the virtues in a new way. Instead of talking about the virtues we each got a virtue card and talked to a partner about how we included that virtue in our life.” – Lucie

“I think Linda Popov has great words of wisdom that can help people of all ages.” – Elise

“When Linda Popov came to the school she taught us about The Virtues Project. She let us play games instead of just sitting and listening. I enjoyed the Charades game – it was fun.” – Jill

“I learned that everyone has virtues in them and I liked when she poured the coffee into the water and explained that you can go back and take out all of the bad stuff that you have done and start from a fresh cup of water. I enjoyed the story that she told about courage and how important all of the virtues are in your life.” – Anna

“When Ms. Popov came, I learned that everyone has every virtue even when we don’t use them. I enjoyed pulling virtue cards and sharing them. Now I am going to work on responsibility so that I can move on to another virtue.” – Jayne

“I liked the caterpillar story because all the caterpillar had to do was look within to find his beauty and everyone has a different type of beauty.” – Jasper

“I learned that sometimes you just need to stop and think about things.” – Sophie

“Something I learned is that you can make a better tomorrow if you try. Something I noticed about Linda Popov was that if you look inside her she has a lot of great ideas and she’s a really nice person. I think I learned a lot from her and I will always remember her visiting our school.” – Mattia


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