Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gratitude and Reach

There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Mostly I'm grateful for the loving people in my midst--family members, friends, colleagues, and the children I teach who grace my days. These good people do so much for me and others all the time and for that I'm grateful and only hope that I can pay it back or forward to keep the good alive.

I'm also grateful for the quiet and peace my home provides. It's a welcoming home tucked away at the end of a street and cushioned by a backdrop of wetlands, a river, and forest. There is great peace here.

Further I'm grateful for technology which has given me a window to the world of music, art, ideas, people, and places. It's amazing.

And of course wonderful books, poetry, games, foods, celebrations, and travel.

It's easy to stretch forward for more and different only to forget what lies at our center--the very people, objects, and events we are most grateful for.

Finding that right balance of gratitude and inspiration is a good aim. Creating a rhythm of reflection and living, a weave of quiet and activity, propels us forward.

In the days ahead, much like the days past, this fabric of life will include lots of writing, reading, and reflection as well as spending time with children, my family, and others to live well for self and others.

Specifically I'll continue to work at my craft as an educator and advocate for continued development related to what's possible in education including streamlined systems and activity that support a quality education for every child. These systems and activity include the following:
  • Targeted, thoughtful use of time--less wasted time when it comes to serving children well.
  • Targeted, deep, and creative use of technology to forward the learning possible.
  • Greater distributed leadership that elevates the voices and choice of all stakeholders including citizens, family members, children, educators, school staffs, and administrators.
  • Positive laws and action that bridge the opportunity gap making it possible for all people to have a chance to succeed and do well. 
  • The use of dynamic strategic process that elevates collaboration and the "collective genius" of an organization.
  • The move from old time "school" to new age learning communities that welcome all students with culturally proficient practice that mirrors new research and brain-friendly teaching/learning.
The opportunity to teach daily gives me the chance to make the goals above visible in the classroom community and via my professional learning and share. My homeroom, the shared TeamFive teaching model, math/STEAM focus, SEL study/writing group, and ESE/MTA committee work gives me a chance to develop these goals with depth.

At home, it's all about supporting my family in ways that I can with a welcoming home, good times, and shared interests. Simple and loving.

There's tremendous opportunity in this world we live in--opportunity to enjoy life, work for betterment, and support one another. It's an endless quest and one that I hope we'll hold on to and deepen as our country and world continues. As a people there's much to do and much to be grateful for during this Thanksgiving holiday.