Leading Yourself & Leading Others

  • Academics
  • Leadership
  • The Aspen Difference
Mark Musselman

I was thinking about a book that was popular when I was making my way through college. The book title was All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten written by Robert Fulghum.  The book was a huge success owing much of its fanfare to the simplicity of the lessons learned when we were all in Kindergarten. There is a great deal of innocent wisdom when experiencing life through the lens of a Kindergartner, and the same holds true for 2nd Graders.

On Monday morning, I visited Mrs. Hutchison’s 2nd Grade class for their LiFE lesson. The first thing to note for those of you lucky enough to step into Mrs. Hutchison’s classroom is that you better be prepared to sit on the floor and join in the circle.  This classroom has no room for on-lookers or bystanders. As we are fond of saying at Aspen Academy, “there are no passengers, only crew!” This was immediately understood in Mrs. Hutchison’s class.  So, just grab a dot, sit down, and prepare to jump in.

From the moment I settled onto my dot on the floor, I felt at home. What happened next was pure magic. Monday was the day that Mrs. Hutchison’s class was exploring what it means to be unique and how no two people are the same. Given our many differences, how do we learn to honor and appreciate them? Our differences come in all shapes and sizes and if we allow ourselves to get curious about these differences as opposed to being frightened by them we can learn a great deal about and from each other. If you want to see what we saw and read what we read you can settle into the book this weekend with your little ones.    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/120661.It_s_Okay_to_Be_Different by Todd Parr.

I left the classroom on Monday filled with a sense of joy. Joy and a sense of wonder. A sense of wonder that left me trying to figure out how we could hold onto these lessons from Kindergarten and 2nd Grade as we get older.  What would the world look like if we remembered and practiced the wisdom from the lessons we learned in Mrs. Hutchison’s class on Monday?  I can’t say for certain, but I would wager that things would be much different than they are today in a world where more often than not we exploit differences as opposed to celebrate them.

Thank you Mrs. Hutchison’s 2nd Grade class for a much-needed reminder that our differences make all of us better.


For more on LiFE at Aspen Academy, click here.