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Showing posts from December, 2014

How Will We Get There?

Maps have entered into my conversations a great deal in the last week.  A friend stopped by asking, "isn't there a better way to get here?"  At Christmas dinner a fellow guest shared his passion for cartography.  On Boxing Day, we programmed the GPS to get us to Washington, D.C.  We looked at a friend's house in Sweden on Google maps just last night (see below).

Maps are an old idea.  I'm sure my son, a map-enthusiast, could give you the history of maps.  He could certainly find you the most useful map with the best route for where ever you need to get.  He has an internal map which he supplements with paper and digital maps to find the best route to get anywhere.

As educators, we often lack a good map.  Sure, we have a general idea about our destination and we do some research to discover the different paths and routes available to us, but often schools and classrooms find themselves asking "how will we get there?"

I've spent a great deal of time t…

Hope is the thing with feathers...

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!  We spent some time in class talking about her life, her influences and her poems today.  My favorite has always been #314.  There is something lovely in the idea that hope "sings the tune without the words and never stops at all."

In addition to being a thing with feathers, hope is a thing we all need.  As both a noun and a verb, it is a thing that we have and a thing that we do.

For me, the noun kind of hope is more important than the verb variety.  We all hope (verb) for things - new cars, better shoes, a day off - and these change with our needs.

But the hope that we have - the belief or trust in something or someone - needs to be more constant.  We need to have hope that our schools are making appropriate decisions and implementing wise practices.  We need to have hope that our students are being challenged and supported.  We need to have hope that what we do today will have a positive impact on the future.

These noun hopes are things w…