Three Things We Learned in our Community Circle
Last week, we held space for our educators in a community circle. We didn’t create this event with any priorities or KPIs. We just wanted to hold space for our educators as the country launched into a national conversation on the influence guns have on our classrooms. Schools in Florida were closed for days. Some teachers decide to arm themselves, and others, took time off for personal reflection and hearing. Meanwhile, there were other major issues affecting educators across the U.S. – for example, schools in West Virginia were on strike advocating for teacher pay. We were inspired by Kristi’s, a Yoga Foster educator in Tennessee, heartfelt response, the #armmewith campaign, and educators advocating for all student voices, and all gun control issues affecting classrooms, being heard.
Our whole team was present for the circle that day, and each had a role to play in holding space. I opened and closed the conversation with a simple mindfulness practice, and guided the conversation with a couple of questions to support reflection. Here’s what we learned:
1. We don’t always have to speak to be heard.
Many of our participants chose not to share, but still came away feeling supported, grounded and in practice with each other. And that’s important. In education, leaders are required to show up in voice and presence – especially teachers, especially now. Spaces that don’t ask for presence; that can be virtual, anonymous, and flexible, can really help to build togetherness without placing expectations or responsibilities.
2. There’s community in shared values.
We all might not agree on the best way to keep our students and classrooms safe, but we do find strength and support when we hear others share thoughts, feelings and perspectives that are similar to ours. Holding space for diverse perspectives in a safe and supportive space increases the likelihood that everyone can find companionship in ideals and values.
3. We should do more of these.
Yoga Foster does not have to wait for tension to hold space for our community. So, we’ll have regularly scheduled Community Circles as part of our upcoming webinars and events for educators. To sign up for the next community circle, visit our website and RSVP. Available for all educators, whether you’ve enrolled in our programs or not.