At Anastasis Academy, we have a learning environment that is enviable. Seriously, educators everywhere long to do what we do every day. If kids knew that this option of schooling existed, they would demand it.
And yet, we still have bad days. We get tired. Social struggles still exist. We still have moments when we take it for granted, or listen to rumors, or feel bad about ourselves, or just wish for a day that includes outdoor recess. You know why? Because we are still human.
While we do a lot of things at Anastasis that feel like we’ve created a utopia, it is still very much a place of humanity. A place where sometimes we are tired, or feel distracted by what is happening outside of school, or just want to sit in the sunshine after weeks of gloom.
One thing we don’t give enough grace for in schools is those moments when it doesn’t feel like utopia. We are human. Not every day will be perfect for everyone in class.
It’s part of being human.
It’s authentic and it’s real life.
Though I believe we have a remarkable place to learn every single day, as humans there are times when it just won’t be that for us. This is as true for teachers and staff as it is for students.
Last weekend I had the incredible privilege of joining amazing visionaries, mentors, designers, and learners at the Wonder Retreat in Boulder. It was deeply restorative. It was inspiring. It was good to be intentional about being away from work with the only focus to make connections.
I can’t describe what an awesome feeling it is to be with people who make you think about possibility. Who will dream with you. Who inspire and remind you that stunning things are happening all over the world. To be surrounded by people who give hope. It is good to remember that we aren’t alone. It’s good to laugh, and try new things (Picklebacks are not my jam), and make new friends.
I’m still very much processing the immenseness of what happened last weekend. There was little agenda, no expected take-away. It was a gathering about nothing…and everything. It reminded me of the need for connection, the need to get away for perspective, the need for possibility.
It makes me wonder how we can offer this for our students and teachers in those moments when we feel extra human.
And. Then. Two words that, when put together, are full of promise. “I was feeling down AND THEN, my coworker came in and made me laugh.” “I felt like no one liked me because I was sitting alone at lunch AND THEN, Camryn came and sat by me.” “I was feeling extra human AND THEN, I joined 23 remarkable people for a retreat in Boulder.” How can we give each other the AND THEN shift when it doesn’t feel like utopia? (No really, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!)
To my new Wonder friends…thank you for being an AND THEN for me!