My Commitment Manifesto

As I near the middle of my summer rest and relaxation period, I have had some time to recharge (a little) and to start to think (a lot) about the bigger picture for the upcoming school year in September. Admittedly, as an educator, the finer details of planning have never been my forte, but usally the minutae of devising make themselves visible as I move through visioning with the overarching themes in mind. So with that case in point, I have developed a commitment manifesto (of sorts).


Truth be told, I both relish and fear the idea of putting something ‘in writing’, and even more so of making it public by posting it here. And while I hope that these actions increase my (perceived) accountability as an educator and contributor to the learning of others, it also makes me feel a wee bit vulnerable. Vulnerable to failure. Vulnerable to not meeting your own expectations. To not showing up each day.

But here goes…


For the Wildflower Middle School 2018/2019 Year, as teacher, mentor, guide, and fellow learner, I commit to:

  • Developing and supporting a mindfulness/meditation program for all learners;
  • Utilizing the First People’s Principles of Learning to guide for our collective inquiry and learning opportunities;
  • Role-modeling to help learners foster and develop empathy and compassion;
  • Assisting learners to developing an individual and class-based values/beliefs system (based on Choice Theoryto support respectful and responsible decision-making;
  • Continuing to develop my own learning by developing and providing a healthy, safe restorative justice-based learning environment;
  • Ensuring each learner recognizes the importance of finding their voice in healthy relationships within our learning environment;
  • Listening first, responding later;
  • Creating and supporting deeper opportunites for all students to connect with other learners both in school and in our local community; 
  • Remembering, modeling, and sharing that learning is messy;
  • Supporting learners to construct their own knowledge and solutions to their own problems;
  • Trusting the learners and getting out of their way;
  • Providing experiential learning opportunities that include applied design thinking, debate, and critical thinking;
  • Acknowledging that there are 28 teachers in the classroom;
  • Providing all learners with opportunities to connect with various healthy living including drug, alcohol, and sexual health education in a safe, respectful, and inclusive manner;
  • Providing a safe environment for students wrestling with their sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • Encouraging deeper personal exploration of the self that includes regular journal writing (see teen version of Big Life Journal);
  • Understanding the power of ‘yet’;
  • Developing a culture within our classroom that celebrates and honours learning;
  • Supporting learners to learn more about themselves through effective use of a learner’s portfolio and self-discovery tool (myBlueprint);
  • Growing more creators, and fewer consumers;
  • Contributing collaboratively to the development an improved student transitioning process for learners leaving our program;
  • Listening more, talking less;
  • Working closely with each learner (and their family) to develop and implement a personalized, responsive, integrative student-focused homeschooling program;
  • Encouraging and supporting parental involvement (based on passions and interests) (i.e. drama, visual art, woodworking, etc.) to engage with the learners;
  • Making time for students to tell their stories;
  • Supporting student-led art projets to beautify the school through mentorships with local artisans;
  • Assisting to develop, support, and implement individual mentorship groups for male and female learners;
  • Continuing to guide our newly evolving middle school (as part of a collaborative effort) towards establishing and maintaining the values of The Quality School; and
  • Remembering (always) that I teach humans, not subjects.

* I, like my learners and our newly evolving program, am commited to being a work-in-progress. As such, I hope (and expect) the commitment manifesto to evolve as do my personal and profesional learning journies over the course of our shared experience.


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