Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hope and Heartbreak: Building a Tribes Community

(Photo used by permission: Broken Whisker Photography)

Training Reflection: Day 2

In continuing our training to build a better culture and community within our school, we completed day two of training with Tribes.  We were put into tribes, or small groups, with a few of our colleagues and Nancy, our facilitator, told us it was time to deep deeper.  Things were about to get personal.

First she asked us to pull out our phones and choose a picture to share with our tribes.  This was fun and I learned something new about each of my colleagues.  I got teary-eyed sharing my image during the first image, but I pulled it together, and we moved.  No problem...

Next, we were given a piece of wire and asked to manipulate it in a way that would represent the course of our lives.  This "Live Wire" activity seemed harmless enough.  Nancy put on some music and everyone worked intently to twist, bend, and twirl their wire into their own story. Then we shared our stories with our tribe groups.  

That is when things got uncomfortable for me. Today was the first time I was brought to tears in front of my coworkers.  Today I was open and vulnerable enough to be moved deeply by stories of personal pain and struggle. I felt silly, dramatic, a little out of control of my emotions.  I didn't like it and fought to stop it.

But while one of my co-workers told his story, through a beautifully designed wire, he shared about heartbreak and hope. He was so honest and brave and trusting. What I respected most was he took advantage of what Nancy has been calling the "right to pass." He simply stated that of the three most tumultuous events represented on his wire, he would share only one with us. He showed how it was simultaneously safe for our group to trust each other with these histories and to not share everything.  

Live Wire: Personal Histories

The training touched on many other aspects of building a community, including 21st century skills, multiple intelligences, and building reflective practices. While all of this was important for our understanding of this program, I will be taking away our experience in our own tribes, the influence this had on my overall well-being as a part of this team, and how I can reflect on my emotions to this experience.

Tribes, unlike many of other character programs, focuses on building and changing the culture within a school. It is not about a specific lesson or skill, but about a community. Together, we want our students, parents, and teachers to feel as if they work in the most amazing community, one that will support them through anything they may encounter.  

The focus is to build a community that is strong in times of both hope and heartbreak.

Yesterday I trusted the process.  Today I trusted my community.  Tomorrow, I remain open-minded and willing to learn, for I have the greatest trust that together we can only continue to grow in this experience. 

1 comment: