8 months ago, we set out to define (or at least describe) a new paradigm of learning. Each month, a new Tenet of EnlightenEd learning unfolded. Research, activities, resources and questions guided us through our own personal evolution from teachers in the school system to who we are now — educators, learners and human beings.
We intended, as our original tagline suggested, to Evolve Education, from both inside (Michelle) and outside (Kat) the classroom. But, as we went through our own process of unlearning, we realized we weren’t going to change the system; the system is inanimate. We could, however, reach people in transition (which we all constantly are) and form a community of learners who believe that how we live is more important than what we were schooled to do for a living.
But who were we kidding? We didn’t have all the answers. We were moving toward more sustainable lifestyles (Michelle moved off-grid and Kat moved into a house with a garden), but Michelle got caught up in a court case with her previous employer for her school’s lack of transparency (an epic ending to a 9-year teaching career) that prompted her venture onto her own path sooner than she had planned. And despite Kat’s decision to give up her teaching certificate, she wrestled her ego almost daily, trying to determined “the best” way to spend her time and share her learnings (accepting what was becoming more apparent, an inherent desire to write).
A command tagline no longer seemed appropriate. In fact, we changed all the tenets to verbs too. Life is, truly, a journey – an unfolding, spiraling, evolving, enlightening process – and shifting towards living a sustainable life calls for more than a green thumb; it requires creativity, practice, patience and a huge, fearless heart.
Determining the essence of EnlightenEd required us to venture beyond brainstorming into heart-centering, a practice that allows the mind and heart to work as one. There is no more denying that we could all spend less time in our heads; thinking about love is a great place to start. How can we expect people to love learning, if so few of us ever learned to love? And if we are not learning to (and through) love, than what and how are we actually learning? If not our own hearts, what and who is informing us how to live the way that we are?
So, welcome back. Here we are, with a new site, new logo, new tagline and about to begin – not another school year – but a new adventure in Pasajcap, where Michelle will be facilitating a learning circle, an experiment in self-directed, experiential, integrated, relational, community, life and love learning. And in Revelstoke, while settling into her new home, Kat will be dreaming up ways to engage with neighbours and the community.
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