Each school year–each day, really–brings expected joys and challenges.
This year started with lots of challenges. Mostly growing pains in the sense that we started the year with a 4:3 ratio of returning to new kids. Even if all the established ones were culture keepers and all the new ones showed up with culturally neutral habits, it would have been work to acculturate that many people at once. But since we’re all complex humans, not all of our established crew set great examples and some of the new kids showed up struggling to keep agreements and using some tough language. While I felt like I was barely keeping up with the back end running-of-the-school stuff I’d taken on and was so super grateful that Ryan is such an aware, dependable, and stable partner.
I reflect that it felt like we might have bitten off more than we could chew. For a solid two months, I wondered and breathed and trusted. And drank a lot of coffee.
And it’s starting to feel like we may have made it through the toughest part of the year. Are there still challenges with some of the newer kids keeping agreements, people using mindful language, and all of us navigating the landscape of different communication styles and emotions we are and are in each day? Yes.
But there’s also been tremendous growth. I’m seeing leadership from people who were very neutral last year. Leaders learning how to boundary set, not take things personally, and release the need to try transforming/controlling others. More independent travelers. More communicative and responsible off-site learners.
Most people are keeping agreements now. The language that I’d like to see softened isn’t offensive, just harsher than I’d like. And 18 humans social-emotional self-regulation in a shared space? That’s a perpetual dance, and one I’m grateful to be part of.