If given an abundance of funding and the opportunity to completely re-design curriculum and every dimension of the schooling experience, what changes might you make?
What have you learned beyond the classroom that you think could benefit all students in the classroom?
How would you want the school day to begin? How would you want it to end? What subjects would you place the most emphasis on?
Lots of question, hopefully lots to think about! Even if none of us ever receive the opportunity to reform education in this way, we can always dream, and if enough of us start dreaming, it may soon become a reality.
A primary emphasis, as dreamed up to exist in Street Retreat Academy, would be placed on teaching the students simple, sustainable practices that they can do for fun, anytime, anywhere. These activities cost either no money or require very basic supplies. Such activities include juggling, meditation, yoga, walking, breathing, observing nature, sound awareness, revering life, creative thinking, improvisational comedy, expressing gratitude, exercising the imagination and dreaming, drawing, writing, and lastly – if you can instill a love for reading – you’re pure gold! Cultivating the aforementioned skills might be also referred to as ‘storing up Treasures in Heaven.’ The human mind is truly amazing, and considered by many to be the most fascinating object in existence. As we spend time tilling our fertile mental soil, cultivating the Treasures in Heaven, more and more we’ll begin to realize just how rich we’ve always been.
The best things in life are free, yet often external forces like the television or newspaper might tell us otherwise, and therein reside toxic thoughts that shift our focus away from the abundance of Spiritual Riches present with us in every moment.
Providing students with a consciousness-toolkit is an incredible gift. Too easily do we look to the external world to provide us with ‘things to do with all this time!’, yet really – the mind is infinite and we can forever explore our own selves. And, the more we explore ourselves, the more we’ll soon discover the Kingdom Within, full if Inner-Peace, Happiness, and Unconditional Love.
We have the ability to consciously grow and evolve for our entire lives. We can continuously expand the mind’s ability to think and the heart’s ability to love.
The more we reveal to students the abundance of treasures within themselves, the more they’ll be free from the false desires programmed into so many of us through the media and cultural hullaballoo.
The way I see it, it’s almost always better to sit in stillness and silence, just breathing and being, maybe even smiling, than to watch television. Unfortunately, if students never have practiced the art of sitting in stillness and silence, they might think it’s just about the weirdest, most un-cool thing in the world and never give it a chance. Exposing students to the practice of taming and exploring the mind is a wonderful gift that will remain with them for their entire lives.