When we cannot stop where we are and address feelings in the moment, they tend to come out sideways as emotions or actions far removed from the original feeling. They can show up as a grumpy spouse who snaps at a simple request, a call from a teacher when your child has an outburst in class, your own lack of patience with co-workers or friends. By the time the feeling has become an expressed emotion, you may not be able to find your way back to the source. As parents, modeling calm, approaching emotions with curiosity, and giving yourself and your children permission to feel will go a long way toward reducing anxiety. These life-long, invaluable skills lay the groundwork for the courage, flexibility, and compassion we will require to re-envision our world as a better, more equitable, more beautiful place.
Let kindness in this moment—each moment—guide your actions and orient your mindset. I long for the day we can show goodness to each other in person again. In the meantime, I am comforted to see the many ways we are managing to make profound connections with one another—in our community and with the larger world—despite the distance.
This was not how it was supposed to go... yet here we are. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re already doing it better than we did last week. We don’t know how to stay connected and apart, but we have so many more opportunities and inspirations than we did just a few days ago. We are getting better at talking to our kids. Each day we tolerate feeling uncertain and afraid. We are doing the things we thought we could not do.
At Turning Point School, we know the best way to optimize meaningful learning involves considering and attending to all facets of our students’ well-being – intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional. By inspiring and challenging each student to find their unique equation within these five areas, we help them discover the core elements that fuel motivation and success.
Our strengths-based approach to teaching and learning focuses on each student’s unique “positive equation for achievement” that helps them pursue increasingly challenging goals, perform better, and persist longer on challenges. It helps them navigate difficult situations more resiliently and inspires them to share their authentic selves and genuine talents with others. It is a profound marker of future success of all kinds, and creates the traits we want to see in those who will, one day in the not-too-distant future, inherit our planet.
Mindfulness and meditation can help us stay present by letting go of the way we think things should be and rather experiencing them as they are. One thing I love about meditation is the directive to “begin again.” Each moment meditating gives us the chance to learn how to begin anew when we get distracted and return to observing what is going on in our mind.
An important purpose of school is to help children become independent—and interdependent—adults, which involves creating distance between one’s self and one’s caregivers. At Turning Point we are careful to balance the supervision of students with opportunities for them to practice these skills. This means we must relinquish our own control to some degree and allow students to work things out for themselves before jumping in.