How do you make a house a home? It might just start with dancing to Beat on That JuJu. That’s what happened at a recent assembly featuring high octane, motivational speaker, Morris Ervin, who warmed up the crowd with a mindfulness exercise, allowing the students to engage in the moment. By expressing themselves through dance, many students shed their inhibitions and freed themselves of their inner critic. Ervin’s charge to the students that day: create a home where everyone wants to be seen, listened to and believed. He exhorted the students customize their home, to accept themselves and remove aspects of their life like resentment and jealousy that corrode a home’s foundations.
Throughout the day, filled with much joy and deep reflection, Ervin worked with the students on how each one of them could contribute to the development of a more inclusive community. But, before a community can be built, Ervin urged the students to work on themselves from the inside out, starting with self acceptance. Creating a home for everyone takes deep commitment, engagement and presentness. It also may involve period of discomfort as one tries to navigate through change. Ervin instructed the students to let go of expectations about how conversations or situations should turn out. The students need to trust their capacity to move through discomfort and breathe throughout the process. Finally, Ervin told the group to “speak their truth.” Although this may feel frightening at times, it offers an opportunity for honest dialogue.
Students continued the exercise in their advisee groups with either personal reflection or group discussion. As an advisory, they developed promises as a group to make one another feel at home. During the assembly, Ervin asked some students to come on stage and share what they thought comprised a home. One student said, “It’s a comfortable place where you can watch Netflix with your cat.” Although KO can’t promise a Netflix subscription or feline companions to our students, we can deliver on KO as a place where each student feels like they belong.
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.