Right now, as I write, I have seven teenagers asleep in my house! Our home is filled with the breathing of my big kids and my nephews and nieces. They played hard yesterday: beach volleyball, stand-up paddleboarding, golfing, swimming, and playing on a big blob in the lake. Thank goodness summer isn’t completely over!
With seven teenagers this week, the energy around the questions “Who am I?” and “Who am I becoming?” is palpable. As we watch them play and chat with them, we can see them sitting with those questions. We are all mindful of them.
As I consider the children, I am again amazed at the extraordinary potential that lives within every child.
The extraordinary potential within every child inspires me to consider how we can prepare ourselves for the new school year from a philosophical perspective for one more week. It is so much less about where the children are going to school, what classes they are enrolled in, or who their teachers are. In my case the seven students attend seven different schools between Gr 7-12. It is more about their attitudes and the learning journey!
Enter my learning journey…as a professional educator…
The table of learning is a feast! Last week, after I wrote that sentence, I went to lecture at University of British Columbia Okanagan…to learn! I love learning! The lecture was a faculty panel on pathways to mindfulness in education. The room was filled with educators. Dr. Sabre Cherkowski asked the following question:
You can read it again…I had to…it is complex. It is about thriving. It is about being at a feast!
I went all over Uganda, Africa this summer saying, “Let’s move from surviving to thriving!” The question is the same on this side of the planet.
What if we only consider the central question: how do we thrive? It works for educators and I believe it also works for parents and students too. We can co-explore the questions. If we are all at the table of learning with the students, it provides a brilliant model for them, when we are also learning!
Together, at the table, let’s consider, “How will we thrive this year?”
For me, thriving will mean letting go of the lifelong notion that “I am not an athlete?” I was too busy practicing the piano when I was young to play volleyball. However, thriving today looks like adopting a new self-perception… thriving today is learning.
Now, I need to move my body. I need to embrace that I can swim, run, bend, and play! I need to embrace a new aspect of myself to thrive! When I do, the seven teenagers in my house will benefit. My learning community will benefit. Dare I say, we will even create a better humanity.
I am not advocating for a narcissistic, ego-centric, self-indulgent model. My piety would never allow that! LOL!
But, I know we can each consider what thriving looks like for ourselves….before we race into scheduling ballet, soccer, and french lessons…in a selfless and driving hurry.
LearnForward is dependent upon healthy and thriving individuals. The invitation at the table is to grow. The pent-up extraordinary potential for the children and for ourselves is at that table.
This year I will be asking my team of educators to consider what thriving looks like for them as individuals? How could each teacher cultivate a mindset committed to flourishing?
I will be asking that question too. Part of it, will mean considering how I want to feel in June and setting intentions. I’m hoping you will join us!
For the sake of the children…