Welcome Home

Over the holidays both my mother and mother-in-law offered the warmest welcome.  The food, beds, games, and activities were prepared.  The tables and ovens were set.  The details were considered with care and the preferences, comfort, and requirements of each one was reflected in the welcome.  With each mention of need or concern, adjustments were made to demonstrate hospitality and ensure everyone felt at ease.  “Welcome” wasn’t just a word it was an embrace draped with the meaning, “your arrival gives me pleasure.”

But then, we sat in pyjamas and didn’t bother with the curling iron or lipstick.  The conversation grew more personal and hearts overflowed with the realness of life.  The table included not only the tasty treats, but also the heartaches, imperfections, and even the anger or anxiety at times.

Have you ever sat at a Table and felt fully accepted, just the way you are?  Has someone ever created a space to hold your truest self?  All of you?

If it has happened for you, it is a treasure.  It is worth investing in the experience, nurturing those relationships, and showing up for the realness.

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Welcome to Our Community

Best case scenario, what happens in a family mirrors what happens in a school.  Our learning community becomes a family of adventure, exploration, and relationship.  We create heart connections strong enough to be real, to feel safe, and to hold space for the messiness of life.

You see academic learning isn’t the entire purpose of school anymore, it is broadening and deepening at the same time.  Now, we are concerned with ideas like personal responsibility and social justice.  Our research and programs consider social-emotional learning and the Learn Forward journeys of worthiness, selfhood, and belonging are woven into this work. Children need the experience of community.  They must integrate, at a cellular level, a sense of belonging strong enough to support this learning.

The Essence of a Welcome

School is a place where we become!  It is a model for children of rich and rewarding relationships.  It is the tapestry of humanity on which we must paint the essential.

Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism suggests we, “deliberately distinguish the vital few from the trivial many, eliminate the nonessentials, and then remove obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage.”

Learn Forward’s five most important journeys of a child define the essential: faith, worthiness, selfhood, belonging, and changemaking.

Together, we are on these journeys, re-imagining the belonging it takes to grow into the future.

Of course it isn’t perfect because we aren’t perfect, but it can be real.

It is community.  Successful schools of the next decade will engage, embrace, welcome, and dine with the students, parents, and educators more deeply.  It will be true, warm, and wholehearted.  We will hold each other with a spiritual conviction and a deep trust in the wisdom of it.  The challenges will be battled together and we will sing about the changes as one courageous choir.

We call it the Table of Learning.  At the Table we find the beginning of connection and the definition of worthiness.

You are welcome to join us as we explore how to cultivate community further in the coming months.

Because you are intrinsically worthy…

You are welcome,

Karine