Sometimes we really do live in different worlds. My cat looks out our window and sees a place I can’t imagine.

I was reading Eric Sheninger’s post about use of social media on the HuffPost Education blog this morning, and this comment jumped out at me:

So often we view the world from our own perspective. But clearly, people in this school were engaged in this election, and students were debating issues. While some adults were oblivious, the kids did it their own way.

Something to think about.

Do you have other examples of  how a limited perspective means a limited view of the world?


image credit: By cobalt123

Watching the Old Guys

I’m watching Crosby and Nash tonight on HDNet. And it takes me back…..seems like yesterday. It really does. 1970-heading off to college…..hopes and dreams….so many options.

And, yet.

Today I had a conversation with someone, saying I wondered what door would open for me next. Still learning, still wondering…

Open up and believe
That the moon will come shining on your dreams
Yes, the moon will come shining on your dreams


A Day of Passion

I was reminded this weekend how powerful having a passion can be.

The Marine Corps marathon runners ran right by my house Sunday morning. I love the event as I get to watch friends, neighbors, and inspirational runners give it all they’ve got during this 13.1 mile challenge. We are at the top of a hill, and it is one of several, so the race is no easy feat.

I don’t know if you can see in this photo, but take a close look.

The hand cyclist was struggling to make it to the top of the hill, and several runners stopped to cheer him on and applaud. I wish you could have heard the loud yelling of encouragement as he pushed himself.
I watched a woman run on two artificial legs, an elderly man taking one small step at a time, and one of our hometown runners who started in last place, determined to raise money for every person he passed. He thinks it was 5,600 and he finished in 28th place!

Later that day, we drove to Arena State where we saw Ruined, an emotional play about a woman who  “both protects and profits from the women whose bodies have become battlegrounds ‘ruined’ by the brutality of government soldiers and rebel forces alike.”

The acting was superb, and although the stage sits surrounded by audience members, I was transported to the Congo. Jenny Jules, who played Mama, was amazing. Her passion for her craft brought the play to life, and I was engrossed until the end when I finally breathed.



To watch people who care so much for what they do was both moving and inspirational. We owe our students the chance to discover whatever it is that makes them feel life is worthwhile and good.

Collisions Can Be Meaningful

My worlds collided this morning when Michael Wesch, who was speaking at the University of Mary Washington Faculty Academy, referenced three different people from random areas and interests of my life.

I had spent almost all night awake, chatting in Elluminate rooms with @snbeach , @willrich45 and our fabulous teams from Australia (4 and 8pm their time, 2am and 6am our time). We had tackled issues that challenged our thinking; we probed ways to be open learners who could truly change systemic problems. As we closed, I felt satisfied and energized at the same time.

I finished up this morning  with minutes to spare and headed over to UMW to hear Wesch’s keynote. Sitting among Twitter friends and UMW professors who are working through many of the same concerns kept me thinking of our conversations hours earlier.

And then Wesch spoke.

I was excited as I’d only heard him on Youtube and ustream. As I watched my rock star, his message of turning knowledgeable students into knowledge-able students who can create, collaborate, and learn filled me with hope about what is possible for all of us.

Though I was a little sleepy (I don’t function too well on only three hours), my brain was processing, thinking, and planning as Wesch talked.

And then the collision. Someone asked about the difficulties in shifting not only our own practice but our students’ way of thinking about learning, and Wesch pointed to Shelley Wright, one of Powerful Learning Practice’s teachers, who reflects so candidly on her blog. I sat up and poked my friend in the ribs:

“She’s a PLPer!” I exclaimed.

And a few minutes later, when Wesch was asked by one of the professors about how to begin this sometimes difficult process, he spoke of love and care for our students.

“This isn’t practical advice,” he said. “Brene Brown writes of vulnerability, and I believe it may be the key to what we need to focus on in our classrooms.” Brene Brown? I love Brene Brown. But she’s in my “life” RSS feed, not my education feed.

And finally he spoke of Parker Palmer, who wrote The Courage to Teach. I’d first been exposed to Palmer in Sunday School classes. He once said, “If we want to teach well, we must learn more about the human dimensions of our craft-about the inward sources of our teaching, about the claims it makes on our lives, about our relations with our students, about a teacher’s wounds and powers.”

The message of the morning seemed simple at that point.
Be open and share with others, put the students’ needs first in all we do, and create classes that allow us all to be more vulnerable.

And it’s what the PLP team uses as its guiding principles. As Wesch finished, I felt proud to be associated with an organization that gets it.