It was so amazing to see these kiddos hit the gas and carry their projects across the finish line. Oscar and I put together a spider web to finish up the setting for the plant play, and we made beautiful posters to show and describe the process for making both the plant play and planter boxes. We had a visiting student for several days, and we made a whole bunch of bread for Expo Night. Plus, kiddos really showed their listening skills at project presentations in the afternoons.
As I look forward to the Human Arc, I’ve been thinking a lot about our Class Meeting. On Wednesday, I introduced a Class Meeting Journal to the Orange Band. I first heard about the idea of a Class Meeting Journal when I read the book Belonging, by Mona Hallaby who teaches at Park Day School in the East Bay. The idea behind the journal is for each student to have a way to report interpersonal issues, or share a personal struggle that they’d like to discuss with the group. The journal will be framed in a method of meditation designed by Thich Nat Hahn called Beginning Anew. Each week, we’ll take time to voice personal successes and failures and conflicts that have arisen. We’ll listen positively and compassionately, and respond in non-judgmental language. The journal will give each kiddo a chance to voice a conflict or a struggle, even if they don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the group. More and more, I find that when we approach issues head-on, speaking frankly and empathetically, kiddos employ the language and strategies that we discuss to manage conflicts, and feel more comfortable sharing their personal struggles. After all, we all have strengths and weaknesses; we are all HUMAN.