Activators of Service and Hope/ A New Beginning for Schools and Families

Activators of Service and Hope/ A New Beginning for Schools and Families


As we gently re-enter into a new semester with our students and children, may we take a deep breath and remember that positive emotion drives deepened learning, feelings of success and worthiness. As we prepare for the first batch of acuity tests, introductions to new standards and content, and all assessements… may we discover one fabulous strength in that child or adolescent that alluded us in the past, pushed our hot buttons, and derailed our enthusiasm and perfected planning of subject matter that he or she needed to know to pass the next test! May we remember the heartaches, the losses, the basic unmet physiological and psychological needs of so many of our students (who walk through those opened and intimidating classroom doors) May we notice the smallest successes , accomplishments, and celebratory behaviors each day in 2013, ( our own and our students)   May we give one another room to breathe as I feel in recent days and weeks the educational world has torn us apart with stories of tragedy, debate, political unrest leaving us stripped bare and vulnerable for what is next. And yet, vulnerable; just as our students sometimes feel, is a state of mind that is receptive and ripe to and for change, to growth and to new ways of being with one another. May we create a renewed community in our classrooms this week knowing that our students have developmentally changed and shifted even within a two to three week break, and that experiences ( positive and negative) can change the brain structurallyand functionally with the cultures, relationships and experiences we embed.


As parents and educators, may we remember that to serve another is to serve ourselves and when our needs are being met, we feel the energy of optimism, enthusiasm and hope that directly activates and mirrors these similar dispositions inside the hearts and minds of our students and children.


May we push aside the political stances, hardened lines, and cemented grievancesin these next few weeks digging deeply and often for the strengths, passions and learning profiles of our most fragile students who mask their fear of failure in pain based behaviorsthat leave us battling, defensive, and posturing for a right response. May we self-reflect inside our own lives, sharing these notions with our children that leaves an opening of “creative and safe space” where they too feel comfortable with their mistakes, and even the questions that matter most to them! May we remember that the purpose of education is to live outside the walls of school and so when we are given a real life real time opportunity to problem solve and sit beside one another, we do just that!


“Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life.
When you help, you see life as weak.
When you fix, you see life as broken.
When you serve,
you see life as whole.
Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.”

–Rachel Naomi Remen



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