3 Reasons to Craft a Manifesto for your School

Our Willowstone Academy manifesto transformed our school’s culture and here’s why we think every school needs one!

We crafted our manifesto 4 years ago and it is still serving our community brilliantly!  Our manifesto paints a powerful picture of our school.  It was professionally designed by Roselyn Minnes and is visually appealing. A framed, full-colour version […]

Of course it’s about Love…

It’s an overused word, with a broad set of definitions, but could we talk about “love” in schools anyways?!

I stood up at our school-wide gathering on Wednesday morning and told the students, every one of them, that I love them!  My heart just overflows with this maternal, joyful gratitude for the privilege of bearing witness […]

Better Together – Part 3

Recently, in a social setting, I sat with a mother of a special education student who in a matter-of-fact way stated, “My Gr 8 daughter doesn’t have any friends.”  Then, she shrugged and repeated, “No.  She doesn’t have any friends.”

Heart-breaking.

All children struggle at times in their relationships.  However, often students with neuro-diversities affecting their communication […]

By |December 2nd, 2019|Belonging, Changemaking, Parenting, Teaching, Thriving, What Matters Most|0 Comments

Better Together! – Part 2

When I was a child, for one year, I attended an elementary school where children with special needs also had their separate classrooms.  They were in a different part of the building than the rest of us: segregated.  Honestly, in my Grade 1 mind, there was quite a bit of fear for me.  When the […]

Better Together!

This week I sat with my Team Leads in my school.  We discussed the fragilities, the places we can see trauma, the frustration, and the children struggling on their journey to grow up.  

Also, this week, I met with parents.  Their emails uncovered communications and concerns.  I heard the stories indicating the September honeymoon shimmer was […]

A Plan for Flourishing in Schools

The story of thriving in schools is written with teachers first.
The Stress
From the vantage point of a school leader, it is clear that professional educators often live under the haunting weightiness of the work.  We face children struggling with learning, changing family structures, disabilities, trauma, poverty, and a sea of challenges found in every classroom, […]

“Reaching In” for Future Success

Parents and teachers share a clear and compelling mandate: to prepare children for the future.  Learn Forward is here to help!  Our work with educators, educational leaders, and parents centres around nourishing your sacred work.  This nourishment is somewhat spiritual, but also wholly realistic.  It is grounded in research and proven in practice.  We offer […]

Reaching…

I’m offering a gentle welcome to this new school year.  It was a whirlwind summer, including some definite curveballs.  Sometimes life is that way.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spoken with many students, parents, and teachers, each of them is returning with a bushel of life experiences.  It is never all one thing […]

There to Whisper, “It’s in the books.”

In the heart of the savannah, at the center of the school, we gathered on the cool cement floor of the Lalela hut.  This hut is in the middle of the Hope North Secondary and Vocational School campus in Northern Uganda.  The school was founded during the bloody civil war by the incomparable humanitarian, Okello […]

By |July 21st, 2019|Changemaking, Literacy, What Matters Most|0 Comments

Light Up the World with Joy

As we step towards the end of the school year, our teachers discussed as a team, “best practices for finishing well.”  We explored transitions to the next grade, playing together and enjoying the outdoors, naming students’ strengths, and blessing them.

As I consider my own best practices, I note our manifesto’s encouragement to send students forward […]

Soul of Education (Part 4) – Change-maker

When we get together as a family, we are somewhat strange, because we discuss and explore the idea of change-making with great frequency.  We lean into inspiration, reading, and relationships to discuss big ideas, social issues, and explore our best and highest contribution.

This weekend we watched two motivating movies, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and […]