What Wolves Can Teach Us

By Veronica Guerra, After-school coordinator

What can we learn from our after-school mascot? From now, wolves are not only an example of principles such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion but also a symbol of unity among St. Peter’s community.

When building our Afterschool Hub, we looked for a mascot that represented our core values and matched those benefits we were looking for when we enroll students in sports teams and creative activities.

After a long search, talking to students, teachers, and sports coaches, we chose a Wolf to inspire our teams and represent us. Why a wolf? What can we learn from them? What are the good things wolves can teach us?

The importance of communication

You might think their howling is all noise, but wolves have highly tuned and refined communication skills. Via barks, howls, and tiny adjustments in their body language, wolves convey messages, excitement and warnings. This communication keeps each pack synced and efficient.

Wolves are not only good communicators but also good listeners. As part of a team, we have a lot to learn from this continual and highly sophisticated communication. The best players communicate “often and openly.” They are always present and available, engaging their team members in meaningful conversations. They also take the time to listen, so each member of their team can contribute.

Work hard and play hard

There is a saying: “Hard work pays off”. It is all too easy for us to get absorbed in our work and lose our sense of a healthy work-life balance. Hard work is great and we encourage our students to endeavor to achieve goals. However, it is well known that too much hard work results in stress, anxiety, and, ultimately, a loss of productivity. Therefore, it is important to play and have a balanced life.

The concept of “work hard and play hard” is something wolves have down to a fine art. Wolves can travel up to 30 miles each day in search of food. They cover huge areas and sometimes must fight to survive. However, they also love to play. These social creatures play together well into their old age, which helps to create incredibly strong bonds.

The benefits of teamwork

No man is an island, and no player should try to do the work of their whole team. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team”, used to say the most awarded NBA coach of all times Phil Jackson.

Wolves understand the most effective way to get things done is to share the load. The authors of The wisdom of wolves describe them as “a tribe, a family, a fierce confederacy. They are also an assembly of individual personalities, private desires and goals and inner lives largely unknown. They are a wolf pack howling.” These clever animals understand success relies on teamwork; that working together, rather than in isolation or against one another, gets the best results.

Perseverance and psychological safety

It is not an easy life for a wolf. Every day is about survival. When it comes to hunting and eating, wolves fail more often than they succeed. Rather than becoming discouraged, wolves keep going. They persevere, they learn lessons, and they improve. Wolves are forward thinking, and in this regard, we have a lot to learn from them.

It all boils down to a concept we care about much at school known as psychological safety. Researches have shown there is a relationship between psychological safety at school and student well-being.

Summarizing, the wolf maybe was just an animal for all of us. From now on, the wolf is not only an example of important principles such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion but also a symbol of unity among St. Peter’s community.

Go wolves!

Verónica Guerra
After-school Activities Coordinator I Communication

Bibliography:
– Dutcher, J & J (2018). The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons From the Sawtooth
– Hearn, Stuart (2019). What Wolves Teach Us About Leadership and Teamwork. Retrieved from https://www.tlnt.com/what-wolves-can-teach-us-about-leadership-and-teamwork/