Strengthening families and repurposing education.
We imagine a world where children wake up inspired to go to school, feel connected in safe relationships, and go to bed fulfilled at the end of the day. We, as an organization, see ourselves as leading a movement to build this world, and we want as many families as possible to build this world at home. We want homes to be places of connection, inspiration, and integrity so together we can build schools that put relationships first. We know we can’t do it alone – which is why we’re looking for as many families as possible to join us. We know that together – there is great hope.
This blog post invites you to see just a part of our vision for repurposing education: Https://www.janetnewberry.com/school-life-different/
Janet entered Isaiah’s life when he was a sophomore in high school. She carefully removed the labels that had been attached to Isaiah and began to encourage him that, yes – he can read on his own. Within a few weeks Isaiah was able to read more steadily and without halting. By the end of their time together he “took off and flew!” as Janet accurately described it. – Ami B.
Thank you for exploring our website; I’m Janet Newberry. I’m crazy about my husband Doug, my family, and my friends; I love books, flowers, writing, learning to cook, gardening, and the Houston Astros! I have a weakness for pretty pens & paper, beautiful stationery, and bubble baths with candles – a fond memory now that we’re traveling in an Airstream!
Doug and I love road trips, long walks, and coffee in bed in the morning for about an hour before we have to really get up. We dream about traveling together; the adventure and beauty of the big world tugs at our hearts.
We believe our work with JN&C – and one day with John 15 Academy – is our destiny.
We live within the boundaries of these core values:
- Trust God – trust attracts God’s grace!
- Embrace the beauty of submission
- Live fully alive!
These strategic anchors help keep us steady:
- Live unaffected by false traditions; be intentional about staying away from shame, blame, and fear.
- Keep it real – “If it’s not beautiful, we don’t do it.”
- Struggle well – “Life’s hard; it’s more fun doing hard together. Remember – It’s only going to get better!”
She had been weighed down with anxiety in a traditional school environment and as a result had begun to doubt her intelligence and worth. She believed she could not create anything of worth in art, she despised math, and she would choose to do just about anything besides read a book! By the end of the year, she had created a beautiful nature journal, several pieces of handwork, and had gained quite a bit of confidence back in math. She actually discovered she enjoyed beautiful works of literature and she learned to write with precision and creativity. Now, almost a year later, she has hungrily consumed about 25 books on her own – she loves to read! – Anda B.
My Journey in Education
I’ve spent more than 30 years in the education arena. I have served as a teacher (grades K-12) and an administrator in both public and private schools.
I’ve had a front row seat watching children both struggle and grow – and watching how their families respond to their struggles. Family responses always have a significant impact on whether children learn to move through their struggle and grow up – or not.
About ten years ago, I needed to find out why some children struggled well and matured in life – and others didn’t. I read and continue to do a great deal of research. You may like to spend some time with the resources that have had a great impact on my work.
I focused my research in three areas: educational philosophy, theology, and neuroscience / communication pathology. I do not pretend to be a scientist or a theologian, but the connections between how God designed us to work and how we really do work are both inspiring and practical.
I applied my research in school settings and in my consulting practice; I saw miracles. I still do. You may be encouraged to read a few testimonials.
My work encourages students and families to live lives of connection, inspiration, and integrity —
- Connection in safe relationships offers strength and love – to support maturity.
- Inspiration guides by divine influence – and offers real power to move us in the direction of deeply satisfying lives.
- Integrity is identity; “I know who I am and can make choices based on identity and conviction – instead of emotion or opportunity.” Identity is immunity.
Our experience with Janet was amazing because, prior to working with her, my son was feeling ashamed and stuck with his academics. During their times together, our son began to see his potential – we believe because the environment felt safe and he was embraced by love. As his trust grew, he began to feel inspired to learn and it opened the door to his potential and excitement for learning. – Tami M.
I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Houston; I was still a Houston Cougar when I earned my Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision, and received my Principal’s certification.
I earned a Certificate in High Trust Leadership from TrueFace.com ministries in 2015; this was the result of some of my most humbling, submitted, and life-giving work. My relationship with TrueFace is still a major lifeline for me.
My 30+ years of experience in public and private schools includes teaching and administration. I had the privilege of serving as an assistant principal in Cypress Fairbanks ISD for eight years – and chaired more than 500 ARD meetings for children with special needs. I learned a great deal as a teacher and Principal at Amblesidefredericksburg.com . My year as Grammar School Principal at Providence Classical School provided many lessons as well.
The Doug and Janet Story –
Doug and I have long conversations sometimes…retelling each other the parts of the story that have become this Airstream adventure and our passion – strengthening families and repurposing education.
We admit this part: Surviving was killing us.
Doug had a long career in the pharmaceutical industry. He did well. There were hoops to jump through, target goals to reach, and performance objectives to meet. He did. As he spent years in leadership in that industry – he handed those hoops and targets and objectives to others. He was good at helping others jump.
Doug also spent time in the financial industry. Reread the last four sentences of the previous paragraph.
I spent almost 30 years in the educational industry – in public and private schools. I did well. There were hoops to jump through, target goals to reach, and performance objectives to meet. I did. As I spent years in leadership in that industry – I handed those hoops and targets and objectives to others. I was good at helping others jump.
During those years – we did all that with our children, too. We did it in church. Hoops, targets, objectives. Milestones, trophies, grade point averages, Bible studies, connect groups, community service, jumping.
That last paragraph was a page out of our day-planner.
It seemed good, sometimes – like maybe we were making progress.
Sometimes, it seemed like a rat race – and the closer we got to the rats in the lead and the prizes for winning, the more disillusioned we became.
And occasionally, we tasted something different. Hope. Acceptance. Belonging. Love. Being known. Vulnerability from others – who’d give us the privilege of knowing them, too.
The more we tasted this stuff – the more we wanted it. We noticed that love and belonging lasted long enough to build a safe place to fail. We noticed that a safe place to fail was a safe place to dream.
Dreaming isn’t at all like surviving. Dreaming is messy. And risky. The hoops, targets, and objectives are not very clear – because you’re almost always in unchartered territory.
So when Doug and I have these long conversations – we don’t have anything to say like, “Remember when we got 100 on that test…or straight A’s on our report card?” We don’t have any plaques or trophies to put on a shelf – heck, we don’t even have a shelf!
Instead we’re gathering and marinating in and investing in relationships – and making memories. We’re living instead of surviving. And we’re getting good at it.
We can’t call “living” an industry – it’s an adventure. There’s hard work – to do together. As we work together, we get to know each other. As we get to know each other – we get to affirm and protect each other.
We get to enjoy leisure together – and make memories.
We’re willing to step into a leadership role in this arena, too. We have no hoops, targets, or objectives to hand out – but we do have stories to share. We’re willing to be vulnerable about both the good and the painful parts of our lives; and invite you to be vulnerable, too.
Our stories include how we’re trusting love to heal our hurts – and how we’re trusting others to help us grow. We’re eager to share love – when you know us enough to trust us. Surviving may be killing you, too.
Here’s what we recognized about surviving:
- Surviving is about “the fittest” – so we were always fighting to be the best – which gave us very little time to love or be loved.
- Surviving is about defending – so we were always having to be right – which gave us very few opportunities for humility and gaining wisdom.
- Surviving is “me-focused” – I may hurt you – or weaken you, especially if you’re competing for my spot on the stage or in the arena. Surviving gave us no time for listening or affirming or encouraging or protecting others.
- Because others were surviving, too – we experienced very little love, humility, wisdom, affirmation, encouragement, or protection.
Living matters. Living requires loving.
There is great hope.
We can live, instead of just survive – in our homes and families. We can love and be loved.
Doug and I were married in 2012; together we have four daughters and one son. The grandchildren just keep coming… much to our delight! We live in a 27′ Airstream Flying Cloud – traveling our United States of America – rebuilding our great nation, one conversation at a time. We love to sit at the table with America.
I am inspired by the life of William Wilberforce. His life’s work ended the slave trade in England, but his life did so much more.
In his book Amazing Grace, Eric Metaxas writes:
“What Wilberforce vanquished was something even worse than slavery, something that was much more fundamental and can hardly be seen from where we stand today: he vanquished the very mind-set that made slavery acceptable and allowed it to survive and thrive for millennia. He destroyed an entire way of seeing the world, one that had held sway from the beginning of history, and he replaced it with another way of seeing the world. Included in the old way of seeing things was the idea that the evil of slavery was good. Wilberforce murdered that old way of seeing things, and so the idea that slavery was good died along with it. Even though slavery continues to exist here and there, the idea that it is good is dead (pp. xv).”
Wilberforce inspires me to work to end the slavery that is our current education system. JN&C exists to financially and ideologically support the launch of John 15 Academy. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about – or supporting – our efforts to build a bright future in education.