Learning is a Celebration of Process

Blog Home  |  February 24, 2020 by Willowstone Academy  |  no comments  |  From the Office


I am right in the middle of the audiobook version of Atomic Habits, by James Clear. In it, Clear explains the importance of designing habits to create systems to help you move through life with joy, meaning, and momentum. An atomic habit is the practice of a seemingly small habit that brings remarkable results over time.

Clear encourages the reader to focus on systems, rather than goals. “Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.”

Executive Functioning

In the Middle Years at Willowstone Academy, Team Lead, Mr. Dave Balfour has created a system that supports atomic habits for Grade 5-9 students. Scaffolding Executive Functioning is a framework of educational milestones that uplifts learning as a celebration of process. Using this framework, students, teachers, and parents can then support the student in customizing habits that serve them in their learning.

Design Thinking

Another system that we use to support our emergent powerful learners in focusing on the power of the process is the Design Thinking process. 

Today’s Entrepreneur Fair is a perfect example of the celebration of process with less emphasis or value on the outcome. Very intentionally this year, administration and teachers involved with the Entrepreneur Fair decided to shift the focus of the learning from being result-oriented to being process-oriented. While high-quality results were still achieved, the process of learning was elevated and celebrated all along the way.

Students in grades 4 -9 were not only challenged to work through the Design Thinking process to create a product or service that is meaningful to them and that serves their customers, but they were also expected to take their learning and start the conversation about their role in engaging with the issues of those affected by homelessness in their community.

Celebrating the Process

By focusing on the process of learning through systems that plant seeds for the future, our students are being set up for a lifelong love of learning, growing, and contributing.

What kinds of atomic habits can you identify in your life?

What is serving you well right now?

What habits are serving your family well?

Where do you see an opportunity to try a new habit in your life?

The true celebration in knowing the power of process is that we can appreciate that we are all learners: student, parent, and teacher. And in relationship, with learning at the centre, is the space for us to co-design a thriving learning community for the sake of all children.

It is a joy to be learning in community with you. Thank you for being a part of it!

Building Community Together, 

Heather Sandager, Community Developer