Post Election Note from the School

Dear Parents,

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Post Inauguration Discussion on February 6th. We commend you for your strength and courage to engage in such a significant discussion. The impact you have all made towards a more harmonious and accepting community is both heartwarming and change-making. We are all invited to reflect, contemplate, consider and focus. We are also all called to act with respect, dignity, integrity and good will.

For a summary of our conversation on February 6th please read the note below from Colleen.

At Brooklyn Schoolhouse, we strive to create a safe space for the children to feel comfortable, secure, empowered, and strong. The teachers and children in the Mixed Age Class have been talking about their values, which has translated to kindness, and people’s power to affect other people.

We as a community strive to create a safe, and emotionally responsive space for the children. We request that you help us to continue to make your child's transition from home to school, and from school to home as easeful as possible. We kindly ask that you keep these transition time conversations focused on your child and invite you to save much needed conversations with other parents about politics for our bench outside, or in a coffee shop, or to come into our tiny office.

We are here to support you, and would love to talk through your questions and concerns with you. Please feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to set up a phone call or meeting.

Sincerely,

Kim Turnbull      Alison Racine

Director             School Administrator

 

Post Inauguration Discussion with Colleen Goddard and the Brooklyn Schoolhouse Community

In our communal reflection at Brooklyn Schoolhouse we were invited to begin at a still point – a silent place where no definition exists. We then, from this place, shared words to express our feelings – the feelings we felt in the immediate as well as those that we wished and hoped we felt. In this way we were called to recognize both diversity and commonality. We begin with the now. Here are some of the words that were chosen when we were asked to reflect on how we all felt now: overwhelmed, distressed, anxious, uneasy, transitional, sad.

And after sharing a quote that expressed the impact of both words and feelings that creates an imprint for our children, we were then asked to choose words that were resonate of our wishes and hopes: engaged, safe, optimistic, healthy, certain, carefree, empowered. … marked with promise and indicative of lifting our children up – above and beyond a political/emotional climate that they had no say in creating -- the same political/emotional climate that brought us together.

In reflecting on individual experiences, we can choose words deliberately - with conviction and thought – formed by our lived experience. However, our children cannot choose words with passionate conviction and steadfast truths – truths are being revealed to them in the moment that they are experiencing them – in the now. That was the intention of why we were invited to reflect on the power of now – the power of the now that children exists in.

The beauty of children is that they do not yet possess the capacity to choose words to express a past they have yet to fully experience or construct. They are building their lived experiences in the actual moments that are being experienced. In this way, their feelings are often louder than words – they are reflected and shown in their play, their social interactions and their engagement with their world in the moment. That is the beauty of a child – they are and will always be in the moment. So how do we construct moments with our children?

Politics exist in our world, in our workplaces and in our nuclear families. The topic of politics can award us the opportunity to look deeply and intently and authentically at what we believe in – our values, belief systems, judgment, bias and prejudice – if we have and hold them and how we react/respond to them.

The Brooklyn Schoolhouse community engaged in an evening to consider how all of this affects us - our community and most significantly, our children and the powerful healing presence of being with, around and in the company of children – now. Children are sponges – they hold absorbent minds – extraordinary hearts and minds and bodies and spirits .We are invited to be mindful, respectful and honor who our children are and what is both acceptable and appropriate, authentic and impactful.

Our children – I believe – are capable of wanting what we want – freedom, a sense of security, peace, the right to make choices, to be heard, acknowledged, seen, felt, held and upheld – with intentionality.

What is our intention? How can we help?

When we are with children we can strive to be a present, stable force. To create the safe space for the children to feel comfortable, secure, empowered, appreciated, loved and strong.

Recommended Books:

Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott

Hold on to your Kids by Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld

12 Keys to raising a Happy Child by Diana Loomans