November 22, 2023
Change always involves a dark night when everything falls apart. Yet if this period of dissolution is used to create new meaning, then chaos ends and a new order emerges.
The world is in crisis and schools are in the middle of it. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, escalating humanitarian concerns, and heightened tensions on college campuses and city streets, have intensified an already deeply polarized political environment. Schools are on the front line in an emotionally charged space where existential threats amplify parental worries about their children’s safety, both physically and emotionally.
Amid this turmoil, it’s a priority to establish an authentic haven for students. This is the moment for educators to embrace being ‘good enough’, understanding that they will not always get it right and that missteps are inevitable. ‘Good enough’ is of course a concept inherited from the pediatrician and child analyst D.W. Winnicott. During WW2, he advised adults charged with caring for children to acknowledge feelings of fear, loss, grief, and anxiety but trust in their ability to create the stable environment students need. This is not a time for pursuing perfection or assuming that anyone holds all the…