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June 2019 Monthly Messenger

Dear RTS Families, 

Another year of growth and learning at Rock Tree Sky has reached its culmination. Now, as we transition from our RTS schedules and into the summer months, I would like to extend a heap of gratitude to each of you for the many ways that you show up to support and participate in the work that we do.  

It's not always easy, and at times it can feel hectic and exhausting to engage in the community that we co-cultivate. But, looking back at all that has been experienced these past eight months, it cannot be denied that the work that we do togetheriscreatinggoodand all of the challenges actually make us stronger, smarter, and better. 

So in this letter I would also like to offer some ideas to guide how we might begin to reflect upon all the ways that we - parents, learners, mentors - have transformed since September. 

It is customary, and I might say it is natural, for many folks to spend time reflecting at the end of an experience or culmination of a cycle. For example, at RTS we practice self-reflection with our learners each day during our closing circles. 

This summer, I would like to invite each of you to think critically about what it means to be successful and to reflect upon whether you and your children inhabit that. 

To guide this thinking I will also offer a very gentle definition of success. Imagine thatsuccessis defined as presence or as how deeply engaged one is with one's experiences. 

This definition of success is one that I have been operating with consciously for about five years and is further explored in a recent episode of the On Being Podcast. In this episode, a group of thinkers engage in a dialogue in which they challenge success in response to the question"How do you want to be when you grow up?". I urge you to follow the link to listen to the podcast with your kids. Then open a conversation about what success means for you. 

Because at the end of another eight month cycle of learning together it can't ignored that each of us has expanded socially, emotionally, and mentally. We see that. We feel that. We know that. But we cannot formally assess or measure this growth.

In conventional schooling, adults attempt to measure the success of each student by giving grades and awards for "achievement."

But in our community, we are more interested and find more value in growing our whole selves.How we are connecting with others,how we are taking care of ourselves, how we are exploring our interests,how we are responding to challenges,how we are asking questions,how we are making meaning, how we are experiencing the dynamic array offerings that are always evolving around us and how we are constantly evolving as well.

Reflecting on how we are, and noticing how we are becoming is how we assess and measure our success as human beings. It's not competitive, and there is no test to pass. It's not about what we have or what we know how to do. It's about how we are being. 

Thinkabout that and celebrate that this summer. 

And until September, 

Be Well and Stay Curious. 

With love from the RTS Staff



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