Oops, Ouch, Snaps!

by Ariel
Welcome to the New Year and a time when we return to our routines, goals, and daily life in community. In the SGS community, we understand and anticipate that much learning happens through mistakes. In classes, teachers create an environment infused with growth mindset, where mistakes are often celebrated as a signal we are learning and challenging ourselves. Beyond academics, mistakes often happen in our interpersonal relationships as our community learns and grows together. At SGS, we recognize, own, and address these mistakes using Oops, Ouch, and Snaps! 

When someone steps on our foot or bumps into us, it is common to react with “Ouch!”. Similarly, when someone does something that causes hurt in a way that is not physical or visible, we can say, “ouch!”. Saying “ouch” gives us a reason to pause and think. It calls attention to the hurt, even if harm was not the intention. 

When we bump into a person, it is common to react with “Oops!” and to check in to see if that person is okay. Similarly, when we make a mistake that hurts others such as misgendering, mispronouncing someone’s name, or someone or teasing in an attempt to make a joke, we can say, “oops”. This is important because in saying, “Oops”, we recognize the mistake (in the moment or later) and own the impact that our words or actions had on others whether they were intentional or not. Depending on the situation, we might follow an “oops” with an apology, actions to fix the mistake, or checking in to see what that person needs. 

As we make mistakes and grow in our interpersonal relationships, it is important to call attention and celebrate our new skills and successes. We offer “snaps” to another person as a way to say, “I see you”. When we remember and fix a mistake we build trust. Not forgetting means we care and is a sign of respect. At SGS, joyful learning is part of our mission and “snaps” is a way we bring joy, positivity and celebration into our interpersonal learning. 

At SGS it is important to us that we embody and model the skills we teach our students. As a result, “Oops, Ouch, and Snaps” are actually part of Staffulty norms and a way we as adults grow our own interpersonal skills and relationships. 

Located in the Central District, Seattle Girls' School is an independent school for girls and gender nonconforming students in grades 5-8. Our mission is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.