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What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Future of Schools?

The impact of COVID-19 on education means schools as we know them will never be the same. All of us––children, educators, parents, and communities globally––have learned a valuable lesson: not everyone’s experience of learning is the same. While schools as we know them may work well for some, they don’t work as well––or at all––for […]

You Help Students Learn How to Add to the World

The contributions teachers make to their students and communities exemplify the human capacity to add––to make people’s lives, and the world, better. Teachers show us what it means to commit to the well-being of others and clear out their paths to success. They make an incredible difference for students, in many more ways than could […]

Cellular Memory and Human Survival

When I was four years old, I asked my mother if we were all just little specks inside a giant’s thumb. I imagined these tiny, glittering specks that covered every inch of the giant’s massive body, and that lived in the same way within every one of us––a matryoshka doll version of a never-ending universe. […]

Time to Connect

Connect With Others, Your Environments, Your Learning, and the World. As humans, we can form connections with the people we know and interact with, the animals and environments around us, what we learn in our lives, and the whole of humanity. When we do, our lives are more meaningful and fulfilling because we’re making others’ […]

Release the Unwanted Within You

As we all face the challenge of a global pandemic––as we separate from others but still look to connect, and as we feel its effects on our own lives and others’––perhaps we could all take a moment to pause, to consider who we are and who we want to become, as individuals, communities, and humanity […]

Unmask the System, Unleash the Change

My one hope for schools is contributive learning––that students will all develop self-understanding, knowledge, competency, and lasting connections and, in so doing, add to the world. I’ve been on its trail throughout my career, and I’ve never met anyone opposed to its outcomes. We all want our kids to feel meaning and fulfillment. But I […]

Powers for Good

Speaking with an early-ed teacher in Hawaii, he shared what his keiki (children) would carry on from his school, no matter what schools they moved on to from there. “We set them up to be leaders at their new school,” he said. “They make it a better place.” I wonder, what could be better than […]

Teachers’ Moral Injury

I recently came across an article from STAT that discusses the moral injury experienced by physicians – injury commonly misclassified as “burnout.” It argues that burnout is a wrongful diagnosis that speaks to a lack of resilience or resourcefulness, while in reality there’s a far deeper source of their struggles: the health system’s failure to […]

Setting out on the Journey to System-Wide Wellbeing

Goldendale School District is a district of three schools (one primary, one middle, and one high school) and 920 students located in Washington State. To help kick off the 2019-20 school year, teachers and other school- and district-level staff engaged in The Learner First’s Wellbeing First Workshop, designed to promote professional wellbeing in ways that […]