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To Look at Any Thing

It was a busy day. I was alone with the students. Usually, I there is a parent, but today the schedule was unfilled. We were still productive and covered challenging material.

The Grade 7 class is building scenarios and predicting what if learned experience is used in new situations. The Grade 8 class is exploring differences between authority and power. The Grade 9 class is taking and defending positions on the Canadian youth criminal system. Like all good things, learning takes time.

John Moffitt’s poem speaks about a way we learn the world. We should savour it, not consume it.

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
‘I have seen spring in these
Woods,’ will not do—you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between the leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. Ah, what a good reminder. We teachers know that for the learning to grow, it must simmer – and I so often forget that as I learn on my own life’s journey, that the same is true for me! I get so impatient…

  2. great way to frame this post, kudos and cheers to another year of teaching!

  3. Love John Moffitt’s poem – thanks you for posting it!

  4. When I research the culture, myth and history of ancient peoples I try to place myself into their shoes to see how they would see the world. It is hard to step outside of our own worldview into another’s worldview, but it is a skill that gets easier with practice.

  5. This is so profound Ivon. My favourite utterance is ‘to want love you must be love’ and this is a wonderful way to say the same thing about everything and everyone.

  6. I LOVE this poem and this post!


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