The Textbook of the Self

Jason HeissererUncategorized

“Let our lives be open books for all to study.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

Friends,

In my message on Monday, I shared that being a part of Crossroads is that we are all able to express our multiple identities; that none of us are reduced to a single role, experience, or way of being; and that we have opportunities to build relationships with those who are other than ourselves. We offer a rigorous and vigorous academic experience, and we offer opportunities to be curious about one another and to grow through our relationships.

When I was a part of the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), we talked often about the textbook of the self. The textbook of the self includes our experiences, our stories, and our opinions from our past or from the current moment. I strongly believe that a just school values each textbook of the self that is a part of its learning community. At Crossroads, everyone has a voice and everyone can be themselves; all of our experiences, as individuals and as a community, make who we are. We are smart and good. We learn from the textbooks on the shelf and from all the textbooks of the self that make up our community.

My friend Myra visited Crossroads today. Before she left she said, “This school is so alive.” I have never heard us described in this way, and yet, I believe her description is apt. Crossroads is alive because we are multi-faceted people coming together across a range of experiences and ways of knowing to engage in a study and appreciation of the textbook on the shelf as well as the textbook of the self.

With great expectations,
Jason