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The other day I received an email from a former student. The final comment about people remembering how people make us feel was the message in the email. John Dewey argued that teachers created spaces, I would say hospitable spaces, where students felt good and comfortable learning, including making mistakes. It was not about what was taught and about the relationships emerging in those spaces. Classrooms should provide a feeling of safety and security even when things are not going well. Maya Angelou’s words make this point.

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.

2 responses »

  1. spaces, I would say hospitable spaces, where students felt good and comfortable learning, including making mistakes. It was not about what was taught and about the relationships emerging in those spaces. Classrooms should provide a feeling of safety and security even when things are not going well

    .
    How could athletes ever excel unless it was fine to stumble, strive to improve, adapt and change even though it is uncomfortable, awkward, un mastered.
    .
    Living in a perfection paradigm is a prison.

    As I see it, our flaws need to be accepted for us to grow beyond an ego.

    Reply
    • When I received the email from my former student, there was no reference to what she learned in our classroom. It was about what she called receiving a chance and seeing how I saw through her ways of getting out of things.

      You are right Marty. When we cannot make mistakes, out of fear or out of a belief that we should not, it is like being in a prison. It is the way I learned to be a teacher and a goalie in hockey. I captured my mistakes and tried learning from them

      Reply

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