Our entire staff (teachers and support staff) are looking forward to a special day of community building through learning as together, we work to improve outcomes for Indigenous students and foster Reconciliation through education. As your principal, my role is to facilitate this day of learning in a way that is reflective of our unique context. All schools will have the opportunity to view keynote messages from Tomas Jirousek and Dr. Pamela Toulouse followed by time for reflection and discussion. Our staff will then take our learning outside to Fish Creek Park and we will model land-based learning and teaching to deepen our collective understanding of this process.
Land-based learning provides opportunities for all learners to achieve success and teaches children how to notice, ask questions and form observations. This not only helps to develop the practice of mindfulness, but also leads students through the beginning of scientific inquiry and critical thinking.
The Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework is a flexible tool that teachers and leaders have been using to reflect on our own practices and to plan mindfully for next steps. At Escuela Eugene Coste, I have invited our team to consider how we can use this framework to enhance our Bilingual Program. A simple entry point for our students is to invite them into personal reflection about their learning beginning in the east and then moving clockwise with the sun:
Spirit- Espíritu Yo soy …
Heart- Corazón Yo pertenezco… Mi comunidad …
Body- Cuerpo Yo puedo ….
Mind- Mente Yo pienso …. Yo sé …
Chief Justice Murray Sinclair offered the following reflective questions to help guide this process further.
East – Where do I come from?
South- Where am I going?
West- Why am I hear?
North- Who am I?
This is a long-term process that will enable community and systemic change. We are honored to facilitate this learning for our staff and students. If you are able, I invite you to take your children out on the land on Monday. Take some time to sit and observe. Walk together and notice changes in the season and how this impacts plants, animals, water, light and shadows in the environment.
Sra. Andrea Riquelme
Principal, Escuela Eugene Coste