How is it going, how did it go, how was year one???
These questions come at me from everywhere. Friends, family, random strangers (who somehow know where I work) in the grocery store isles… It is a question I struggle to answer in the polite allotment of time given in a conversation that is really meant to be two sided. I could answer that question for about 45 minutes straight.
Case and point. I was chatting with a friend on the phone yesterday that I hadn’t spoken to in a bit- sure enough. “So, tell me all about it. How did it go this year?” I fumbled through the answer of “So. Good!” adding a few little tidbits to drive home the point before returning the volley and asking about his year in academia. Him being a school administrator on the West Coast (the best coast 😉 ) meant his experience during a global crisis would be much different than mine here in Wyoming. (I have never loved our cowboy spirit more! Side note.)
I almost felt like a jerk going on and on about how magical every day is at WyldFlower while he’s dealing with virtual alternative education.
But only almost.
I honestly look around and am in awe of it- WyldFlower and its community members. It is a wonder to me, still.
You will probably laugh, and please, by all means, laugh from your center! I was reading over our handbook today and making sure it was up to date and free of me being unprofessional (like I am here!!)
Publications should not have too much voice apparently. I can hardly ever turn mine off! Tall task for this girl.
While reading this handbook- procedures, policies, plans…I was literally tearing up.
(insert your laugh here)
Like, the real kind of blurry eyed reading. Over a HANDBOOK.
Am I losing it? Maybe, a little, but that wasn’t the ‘why’ this time.
Why are the tears brimming? I still can’t believe this is a real place with real people and real fruit.
There is a real place where small humans can come and live life in a micro replication of the society around them, with the best parts of us being celebrated and cultivated. WyldFlower gives each of them a place to come without the armor. We can lay our weapons of self protection down and breathe a sigh of relief that gets oxygen to the core of us.
They decide what is meaningful to them. They decide what consequences make sense for infractions committed by fellow community members. They decide where we will go and what we will participate in. They decide what they want to know more about, how to find that information, and what to do with it.
They thrive here. They are watered, fed, nurtured, and encouraged to bloom. It sounds cliché but it is the really real truth. I have watched my own daughters become MORE themselves. That is what we ask of ourselves and our members.
Be the best and most version of you there is. That is what we each need to bring to the world because it is what the world needs from us.
Shine your light.
Do all things with love.
The handbook made me well up because I’m still blown away that
- We really do it that way. What we said there is the truth. We have created this space and we treat kids with honor and respect. Because they are human and they are AMAZING!!!!!
Example from our handbook
“Basic rules include:
Do all things with love and care!
Be respectful, responsible, and safe at all times.
Find it, use it appropriately, replace it.
Stay where an adult can see you (or at least hear you).
Stop means Stop.
Know your limits, if you need support or help, ask.
To develop healthily, children need to know the boundaries, be trusted to follow them and be willing to own mistakes when they occur. Behavior management is part of our social/emotional program and we do it informally as much as possible. Above all, we expect everyone to approach WyldFlower in a spirit of excellence, kindness, and mutual respect.” page 11.
2) A space exists where each student’s intrinsic value is recognized and acknowledged. They have a place just for them to be themselves. It brings out the best in each of us. They are allowed to be unique versions of humanity and we can celebrate the diverse and divergent!
Example from the handbook discussing roles/responsibilities.
Our job is to keep people safe, provide a rich environment, help students find things that they are excited about, facilitate community collaboration, and provide the structure necessary for them to take the resources available and run with them.
We expect kids to take an active role in guiding their own education. This doesn’t mean kids are responsible for every choice or that grown-ups are hands-off in our role as instructors. It does mean that we expect kids to be active participants, to take their learning process seriously, to follow through and engage with the space and the people in it with an open heart, with good intentions, and in a spirit of curiosity.” page 12
I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
I get to bear witness to their growth and there is nothing so beautiful as a flower unfurling its petals and basking in the warmth of love and acceptance.
So go and do likewise- you crazy beautiful thing you.
The world needs you- you’re the only you we’ve got.