Guided By Values

5 Ways to Unplug This Kairos

Posted by Heather Burchfield on Feb 5, 2019 10:56:00 AM

When I first joined the faculty and staff at The Peck School, I heard talk of this mystical thing called Kairos. Was this a club? A lunch menu item? A slang term for a secret passageway around campus? I had no idea.

But what I came to learn is Kairos is a day and night where mindful use of technology is observed and students and their families are encouraged to put their phones down and spend quality time together, reconnecting over a meal or a shared experience.

Kairos [Greek, ky⋅ros or ke⋅ros] – timeless or extraordinary time; time that cannot be measured or scheduled; a moment of grace or experience.

So I asked members of the community for ideas on how I, as a staff member, could also participate in Kairos, at school and later at home with my own family. Here's what they said:

Melissa Bartoli, vice president of the Parents Association and mom of three Peck students, said her family loves Kairos, but acknowledges it takes effort to power down. So what do the Bartolis like to do? Play board games, listen to music, or share stories around the dinner table. This year the Bartolis are looking forward to using their new ping pong table on Kairos Night!  "I love the tradition of forcing yourself and those you love to actively stop, take a breath and enjoy each other," Bartoli said. "We live in such a busy and distracted world and it's very hard to stay grounded.  If you can stay grounded, your empathy toward others grows.  If your empathy toward others grows, you become a more considerate person and that consideration rubs off on others.  Whether you are a Peck student who leads by example with friends, or you are a Peck parent who leads by example for your children, Kairos Night reminds us that the simple act of reflection and introspection is necessary to build solid relationships and ultimately help find happiness in life."

Christa Nees, first grade teacher, spent Kairos Night in the kitchen with her children. She said that, "When my children were younger, some of our favorite family memories (and foods!) came out of the kitchen." Their favorite recipe? Chocolate Chip Banana Bread! See recipe here.

Lower School reading specialist Carolyn Vallario suggested literacy boosting games. She compiled a list of great options for families to put the focus on reading in a fun way:

Upper School Music Teacher Andrew Lyman said he and his family have a lot of Kairos night favorites including reading books, making homemade play doh, or, my personal favorite, having an indoor camping trip with a tent!

So on Kairos night, I'll be enjoying homemade chocolate chip banana bread while I play Hedbanz Junior with my son and daughter in a tent. And appreciating the fact that I work at school that places a high value on quality family time for its students. How refreshing it is to be actively encouraged to unplug!