The process of growing up is messy.  It doesn’t go in a straight line.  Sometimes it goes backwards and sometimes it goes forward.  It is a messy-togetherness.  YET, we can still celebrate!

Learning is both a messy-togetherness and a celebration!

In my last Learn Forward blog, I wrote about how classrooms are shelters, vulnerable places, with parents who are grieving for various reasons. It is a messy-togetherness because everything isn’t going perfectly.  It feels particularly tender in the first moments and days of the school year.

Life has a way of taking on treacherous journeys.

  • None have been more emotional than my journey as a mother.  My children are my heart with arms and legs.
  • None have been more draining than my journey as an educator. The demands are endless.

Deep in our hearts, we know the learning journey is sacred work.  When we close our eyes and get quiet, we can see the extraordinary potential in every child!  It is a deep-seated hopefulness. We all see it: teachers and parents.  It is worthy of celebration.

The extraordinary potential…

So, this week, we’re discussing parties!  Let’s celebrate the potential and each step a child takes towards realizing that potential.  Classrooms also are these remarkable places where children transform and if you see it in a day or two, it is even more remarkable.

Last week, on Friday after school, I had a teacher drop in to inquire, “When my student just refuses to do work or go outside to play, what should I do?”  Have you had that experience?  Then, you spend your entire recess trying listen, cajole, reassure.  Just days later, the same teacher dropped in to say, “You’ll never believe the turn-around!  It is like a different child!  He’s participating in everything!”  It is a celebration! We saw it in just a day or two.

Even my own little bonus baby seemed to grow a year in the first week of Kindergarten!  She had better manners, was more focused during her tasks getting ready, and balanced school with extra-curricular experiences gracefully. What joy!  Did you see it too?!  Are you celebrating completion, courage, risks, new experiences, and trying?

My heart thinks, “Let’s throw a party!”  I know it is the honeymoon stage, maybe too early to celebrate growth, but I don’t care!  At every turn we must celebrate the miracles in the classroom.

There are new classrooms, with fresh teachers, and we can all see the extraordinary potential!


Celebrate messy-togetherness


Celebrate the journey


Celebrate a Child

Version 2

Celebrate the Places You’ll Go


Celebrate every little victory…

We are celebrating every little victory these days.  My colleague, Jason Dropik, dynamic Associate Principal in Wisconsin says, “Celebrate often and celebrate loud.”  I love his energy!  It is a parallel to Dr. Seuss’ proclamation, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”

What can you celebrate from your classroom or home this week?  Are you aware of something remarkable happening? What little miracle is unfolding?

It really comes back around to holding out that certain hope for all children.  That’s what inclusion looks like, hope for all children.  Our Table of Learning, for students, parents, and teachers, is designed for messy-togetherness AND celebration!

For the sake of the children,


PS  Did you miss the Learn Forward September newsletter and FREE gift?  Don’t worry, you can catch the October nourishment.  Subscribe now for the practical, downloadable tool for parents and teachers called B.R.A.V.E. coming in October!