Learn Forward™ is an exploration of the soul of learning; an invitation to be curious about what matters most.  It is more than an academic exercise, content to master, or a school community.  It is more than a group of friends or a teacher’s acumen.  And, it is more than grades, report cards, or outcomes.  But, what is it?

We know children are growing and developing at incredible paces, each one on a unique trajectory.

So, what is in the soul of learning?  What is at the heart of this process?

Our Query

I wonder if the soul of learning includes our most altruistic purposes of cultivating a citizenry, empowering a society, and fueling community?  I wonder if it is ultimately a faith journey?

What do we know for sure?  At the soul of learning, we find a mix of desire, curiosity, heart, and collaboration.  Failure is a helpful handmaiden.

Let’s keep meandering with this idea…

Photo by Zack Silver on Unsplash

Love Notes to Students

Each term I sign every child’s report card at our school.  In the process, I read each anecdotal comment, look at the feedback, and listen to the student voices.  I discover each learner in new ways and practical terms as I dive into their personalized report.  In addition to reading, I write little love notes on each report card.  Sometimes it is a note of encouragement, a reinforcement of a wonderful strength, or a “keep it up” wish.

I absolutely love the process.  This term, for our most senior students, I began writing questions.  I found myself asking the following important question in various forms:

“What do you want to learn this term?”

At the heart of schools, education, and child development, right in the center, lies this question, “What do you want to learn?”

Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

This week, if I could encourage parents, teachers, and students to ask one question frequently, it might be, “What do you want to learn?”  or “How do you want to grow?” or “Where will you go next in your journey?”

Some people believe that younger children can’t answer those questions.  However, in my experience, if we ask often enough, the children will learn to embed the question in their hearts.  They will learn to ask it for themselves.  Sometimes they learn at 4, sometimes at 24.  But, as faithful parents and educators, let’s encourage them to pursue their own inquiries, curiosities, and achievements.

Parents and teachers, I hope each of you will ask this question in meaningful ways over the next few days, “What do you want to learn?”

For the sake of the children,