Living into Our Values (Part 4) – The Table of Learning

Learn Forward™exists to champion EdLeaders to design thriving school communities.

Clear is kind. I am crystal clear on the Learn Forward™ values. There are only four.

  1. Be like a Tree – Thriving in every season: Soul of the Leader
  2. Mobiüs Strip – We lead who we are: Soul of the Leader
  3. Design for Solutions – Design process is for thriving: Soul of the Team
  4. The Table of Learning – Everyone is welcome: Soul of the School

We are in the process of discovering how to unfold the soul of the leader, the soul of the team, and the soul of the school.

The path is to live into our values.

Let’s talk about the fourth and final value…The Table of Learning.

In 2015, in Learn Forward – An Invitation to the Most Important Journeys of a Child, I wrote,

“The Table of Learning is for the student, parent, and educator. Learning is at the center.

It is a nourishing affair….

In school communities, we need to open the gates and dine together. We will share and listen. We will embrace each worthy perspective at the Table of Learning….

Truly, we will abide with one another, we will [all] learn, and we will shimmer in our expansiveness.”

Moreover, the Table of Learning is a metaphor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Indeed, it is a way of understanding how we can work together.

We posture ourselves as curious. And, we approach the table with the humility of a learner. My yogi friend calls it a beginner’s mind. We take time here. Really, we don’t need to rush.

Indeed, everyone is welcome at the Table.

What happens at the Table of Learning?

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

We listen and learn. It’s like a healthy family meal and everyone is an equal. Eventually, we build supportive relationships where creativity and collaboration unfold.

The Table of Learning is a way of understanding our relationships in schools when we:

  • email a parent
  • create a newsletter
  • host parent-teacher conferences
  • attend a school event
  • delve into an IEP meeting
  • or a myriad of other community-based initiatives

When parents and teachers are committed to being at The Table with a student it is a joy! For example, it is a JOY when educators and parents both persist in the relationships, problem-solving, and constructively advocating with student learning at heart. In education, we need each other.

“Our children, [of all ages], will drink in our attitudes about learning and school. If we share our excitement about the process, they will mirror our delight.”

Karine Veldhoen

This Learn Forward™ value, The Table of Learning, is a metaphor for joining together, in solidarity, around what matters most for children.

Karine 🌱

PS Unfold the soul of your leadership, check out the program available at!