I Know a Haven When I Find One

Self-Reg for parents, photo of man and son sitting on the grass together

I’ve been thinking a lot about Self-Reg Havens these days as we get ready for the new school year. One big question that is not so easy to answer is: what makes a home, an early childhood centre, a school, or a community a haven? Stuart Shanker says he knows when he is in a Self-Reg school within about 90 seconds of walking in the front door because you “just feel it”. I know exactly what he means. But how do we define the “knowing” in some kind of concrete way? Another question from the TMC perspective is: how can we help those who are trying to figure out what actions to take to become a Self-Reg Haven?

In the video below you’ll see that after dropping off my daughter Siena at the amazing Camp Kawartha Environment Centre this morning, I realized that one important starting place was: I KNOW a haven when I find one.

You probably do too. Just think of your favorite place to be and then consider what makes it so special.

Siena’s camp is clearly a haven on so many levels. I will share some photos and more details on the camp and what’s so special about it in my next vlog. But today I wanted to explore some thinking about:

  1. The different kinds of Self-Reg journeys
  2. Why there really is no real way of “getting ready” to be a haven
  3. That the decision to be a haven can happen on a dime
  4. That Self-Reg gives us the “how”

Do share some of your own ‘haven thinking’ in the blog comments. I’d love to hear more of your perspectives on finding and creating Self-Reg Havens.

Dr. Susan Hopkins is the Executive Director of Dr. Stuart Shanker's organization, Susan has been a teacher, school administrator, inclusive schooling coordinator, curriculum developer, educational researcher, and educational leader. She has worked in every area of education from the early years to post-secondary, from remote Northern schools to the Department of Education, and across contexts that include Italy and the Northwest Territories.
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