I sat awkwardly in silence for 2 minutes. I think we all did, somewhat. I had done it a number of times before at staff meetings, but never with a room full of parents. It was the first Parents Club meeting of the year, and the room filled with silence as our West Portal parents experienced "Mindfulness" firsthand. Mindful Minute(s) are a part of a growing daily practice in all of our West Portal classrooms with our students, and in our staff meetings.
I started the WPPC meeting by sharing the work the staff had been doing before the school year started, identifying our individual "Why's":
- Why do we teach?
- Why do we work with this community?
- Why do we do the specific "what's" in our daily work?
I showed this video to illustrate the idea that if you know your Why, then your What's (what you do) have more purpose.
Then we all sat in silence for 2 minutes, for the parent community to reflect on their own Why's -- Why are we a part of this school community? It might have been the first time all day that they had experienced silence. In that silence, I felt a growing sense of community.
After the 2 minutes were up, we gave everyone some time for processing, individual reflection, and group discussion around this idea of Why. Here are some of the wonderful responses we captured:
Then we heard a brief update on what is happening with mindfulness in our classrooms. Follow this link to the story.
Lenette Thompson, our WPPC President, then took us through all the different ways parents can support the school. With our Why's in mind, we went through a list of all of the What's that need parent support and volunteer hours to help make happen. Lenette encouraged the parents to use the word Yes when asked to help. It was a great way to end the first meeting of the year and begin the school year as a community.