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Daily Archives: May 12, 2012

The Contract – A word to the led by William Ayot

And in the end we follow them-

not because we are paid, not because we might see some advantage,

not because of the things they have accomplished,

not even because of the dreams they dream

but simply because of who they are:

the man, the woman, the leader, the boss

standing up there when the wave hits the rock,

passing out faith and confidence like life jackets,

knowing the currents, holding the doubts,

imagining the delights and terrors of every landfall;

captain, pirate, and parent by turns,

the bearer of our countless hopes and expectations.

We give them our trust. We give them our effort.

What we ask in return is that they stay true.

With leaders who are at times pirates, we can colour outside the lines and think outside the box. Organizations, institutions, and communities want leadership.  Exploration of past times included pirates who navigated new and treacherous waters and helped find new nautical paths past the visible horizons. Yesterday, someone told me a recent comment I made about a need to name school and community values was received with openness and yet I felt that openness was not reflected by the group. Leadership is speaking one’s truth while honouring truths of others. It is a respectful rather than  ‘relativism gone wild.’ What can each voice add to the conversation? It is lonely and dangerous being a pirate without others helping in the navigating.

This is a great TED speech by Sir Ken Robinson. It is about the 4th or 5th time I have seen it or a variation on the speech. If we are killing creativity among children and the high point of creative thought is in Kindergarten, what do we need to do to make schools and learning a space of creative learning and expression? The time has arrived for a true conversation about learning in the 21st Century. Have we killed the creative spirit of teachers? This is an important question in the conversation.

Gen Y Girl

I watched this video yesterday and it completely blew me away.

Do yourself a favor and WATCH IT! 

This man is honest, funny, a straight up genius and his accent is awesome.

“Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.”

Ted Ideas Worth Spreading

Should we all be doing what we love? Yes. Is school the only way to get us there? No. We need to educate people in  a way that promotes creativity and passion in our work so that we don’t end up bitter and miserable. Life’s too short.

Thanks to my twitter peeps @shawmu and @knealemann for bringing this to my attention 😀

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For All the Children

Learning, school, education, or life lived; whatever we choose to call the enterprise it is important we live the words of Gary Snyder.

The rising hills, the slopes,

of statistics

lie before us.

the steep climb

of everything, going up,

up, as we all

go down.

In the next century

or the one beyond that,

they say,

are valleys, pastures,

we can meet there in peace

if we make it.

To climb these coming crests

one word to you, to

you and your children:

stay together

learn the flowers

go light

The line which draws my eye and means so much to me, as a teacher and learner, is the one about statistics. Each year, I spend time with the Grade 9 class discussing the average student and the potential absurdity of the concept. Students realize there might, in fact, not be such a person. It might only be the ‘mean of the average.’ In our classroom, is a poster of Einstein. Several years ago, a student asked who the person in the poster was and I answered by saying it was my Dad. I do resemble him, or like to think I do, with the wild hair and idiosyncrasies. We refer to Einstein as Mr. P.’s Dad. His quotes are a marvel and the one I feel fits with the Gary Snyder poem is:

We must take care and insure the stories of each person who lives life is fully heard. We are not numbers. We are the stories come to life. We should always ask, “What makes the number relevant?”

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