Our Learning Lab Orientation summer cohort is halfway through their virtual, seven-session course. This course offers the opportunity to come into community with others who share a commitment to a thriving, vibrant new future for learning and to get to work together to bring that future to life for children and communities across the country, right now.
Throughout the first few sessions, Orientation participants came face-to-face with the enormity of transforming our education system—a discovery that sends our fight or flight systems into overdrive. More often than not, “flight” seems to want to take control. So, how do we overcome this primordial response and continue venturing toward, as leaders at Norris Academy like to say, “our next best place”?
At the end of the Orientation’s third session, we invited the participants to reflect on what they stand for in the face of the challenges ahead and to document it for themselves to, in some ways, make it real. To take a stand in this way is about making a commitment that strikes at your core. Because a stand is so much greater than yourself, whatever fear might show up when facing the many challenges ahead, you can overcome them by reminding yourself of the commitment that had you face these challenges in the first place.
My stand is that every child be known, supported, and loved through a learning journey that opens them up to their boundless potential. When the going gets tough and I have to remind myself why I am doing this, I think of the young people I’ve met who have experienced learner-centered education and imagine the world full of young people like them. Our world would be a more loving, inclusive, and joyful place where creativity and a view that we can make a difference are the dominant contexts.
Every stand comes with risks, but they allow us to face challenges we would have never chosen to face without the stand supporting us. And, by facing those challenges, we begin venturing in uncharted territory where incredible, new possibilities open up.
What’s your stand?