I was listening to an almost founding parent recently who spoke about how moved he was by the idea that the school was founded as a place where we "treat each other with just a little more consideration than is usually evident out in the 'real world.'" He said that at its origin, there was a sense that not only would community members bring Blue to our classrooms and families, but also out into the world. I believe that treating each other with a little more consideration means pushing each of us to be our better selves each day. For our children, we host a daily morning meeting where children greet one another, look one another in the eye, and share thoughts, ideas, wonderings. Do we do that well enough as adults? We ask children to reflect and consider how our differences make us stronger. Do we value difference as adults, or seek sameness? We ask children to try on the lenses and perspectives of others. Do we consider the lenses of our colleagues, friends, teachers, families? We ask children to ensure that no one is teased, ignored or put down, that they seek to understand and treasure one another. Do we do this consistently at work, at home, and with each other at school? We ask children to speak directly to one another when a problem arises. Do we speak directly with one another enough? We ask children that when they make mistakes with others, to make it right with the person they wronged. Do we spend time hearing each other out?
For me, it is lifelong work each day to hold myself to the standards of respect, excellence, and joyfulness that I (and I think we) have for our children every day. I hope if nothing else, we instill in them the sense that this will be a lifelong project, and that practice with focus, meaning, joyfulness, conflict, relationships, setbacks, and pursuit of knowledge is what we do in school. I have that hope for all of their grown ups as well.