This year’s start was a bit later than anticipated. None the less, every ‘start up’ is a great time filled with anticipation. Anticipation of meeting new people, new colleagues, new and returning students, new buildings or rooms and yes admittedly some anxieties. If you’re anything like me, I always buy a new pen to celebrate the new start-up. It takes a lot of planning and organization behind the scenes to start a new year – most of it hidden from students or parents view. Boxes and boxes overflowing with things to generate excitement, conversation and learning. Colourful borders, posters and dangly things for the ceiling, squishy pillows or chairs find their places in the room. Making decisions on what and how to teach so that excitement generates possibilities for every student and staff.
Beyond all the physical elements of a start-up is the most important yet unspoken belief underlying all of learning – relationships and connectedness. These are the things that create community, that allow individuals to feel belonging, that binds together compassion, empathy, curiosity and empowerment. This is what keeps the anxieties of facing the unknown from turning into frozen moments. To this end I’ll spend the month connecting and reconnecting, listening and listening deeply to hear the real stories that are offered in the smallest of moments.
What are you doing to develop relationships and connectedness in your space?