Community matters. It’s true. We are social beings and when we are part of a group, we are afforded a sense of connection. Beyond an education, this is what a classroom or community can offer. And group affiliation can go a long way in contributing to healthy development.
I felt the impact of community firsthand yesterday. The morning was spent with a group of private school educators in staff development, and the remainder of the day I worked at our church’s fall festival making mosaic tile stepping stones for the garden. From sunup to sundown, I was surrounded by people. And it was wonderful.
Of course, seeing educators sharing experiences and learning from each other always feeds my soul. There is a synergy in staff development that is so encouraging to me. And then watching adult volunteers, families, and youth all working together in an assembly line fashion to beautify the church garden was amazing.
Both of these events restored my faith in our ability to share space with others in a communal fashion. I need these occasional reminders because it seems as though over the past decade, in many ways, adults have become so divided and isolated in our society. I can’t help but wonder how this fragmentation impacts youth.
I know one thing for sure. If we want kids living well in community with others as adults, they need good role models now doing the same. They also need opportunities for group interaction and discussions while they are young. So teachers, be it through class meetings, morning advisories, or unstructured interaction with peers, give students practice time strengthening their social skills.
Thank you to all the educators and church members who contributed to yesterday’s efforts. By the time I got home last night, I was covered in grout from head-to-toe (while still in my nice shoes from the presentation) but slept well knowing I spent the day in community with others.