Summer Intensive 2019 Recap

Awakening Wisdom

From a participant in an Awakening Wisdom 2019 Summer Intensive:

“Being that there’s so much information to share with us who are new to this type of discipline system and ways of talking to students and giving them more choices and to exercise their own voice in solving their own problems has been wonderful. I am so incredibly honored to have been a part of this workshop and to have met such a great group of individuals.â€

Awakening Wisdom is a school culture approach to social emotional well being for both educators and their student. It addresses the “hidden†curriculum of messages from both adult modeling and school systems and practices.  It begins with the foundation of trusting relationships throughout the school – between colleagues and between teachers and students.

It is the climate of trust that supports the important lever of school culture transformation – adult mindsets –  unexamined assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes.  Sr. Joan Madden, who created and evolved Awakening Wisdom back in the 1970’s, said, “You don’t just teach subjects; you teach who you are.â€Â  Students are very aware when teachers model what they teach and support students trusting their teachers. And they also know when teachers don’t walk the talk. A student who just graduated from high school at a progressive school said, “If a teacher doesn’t show us respect, it’s hard to respect them and hard to trust them, too.â€

The Summer Intensive in Hawai’i participants saw how they send messages to students through their modeling.  One participant said, “The most helpful piece of the Intensive was the need for the teachers to work on themselves as a crucial part of the whole program.†Another said: “It was very helpful in shifting my mindset and helping me to not only think positively but also getting me to think outside of the box at times.â€

Students, whether in kindergarten or high school, already have set habits of mind – some useful and others not. If we want our students to grow out of the disempowering habits, then it would be powerful if parents and teachers were modeling efforts to be open to growing their self-awareness and being willing to change.

Buddha said,

“What we think, we are.â€

If we shift our thinking in life-giving and empowering ways, we shift our experience of life and the experiences of our students.

Awakening Wisdom

Photo credit: Awakening Wisdom

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