Showing posts from January, 2018

Looking Beyond the Single Point that is Now

I have been immersed in some heavy conversations and reading this week. HEAVY. Racism. Sexism. Elitism. It’s January and by the end of the week, it’ll already be February. January’s Dear Teachers was about Now. Summing up my January essays into a single, cohesive message: We move now, together, with what we have in our grasp- with hope that both we and things will grow. As I look at February’s writings, I see the month’s messages moving to either side of this point on the timeline: yesterday and tomorrow. As I mentioned before, my work this week has sunk me deep into what’s in front of us now. I’ve also been exploring what happened in the past to get us to this now. I’m finishing up reading The New Jim Crow and Evicted , both extremely powerful books. Finally, I can look ahead with clearer eyes. To the work that needs doing. Desperately. I see some helpful reminders in my own writing and the voices I’ve heard recently that I will share soon. As the image quote

What Helps Us Unfurl Our Natural Beauty?

Sunday, January 21, 2018 Today, I was looking at an early version of Week 20’s essay, A Time to Unfurl . It was really short. Fittingly, this essay took a while to unfurl. It had to simmer, becoming more pointed and specific in its message: we all need certain conditions to thrive. Even the photo I originally attached to the essay was switched out along the way- it’s hard to believe it didn’t originate with the gorgeous blue floral hues and energetic insects it ended up with. This is one of my absolute favorites of Marlene’s work. This week I wrote another piece on the subject of Week 21 of Dear Teachers , What Is...And What Could Be, called On the Shore of What Is and What Could Be . I had totally forgotten about the essay in the book. I wrote this week’s piece from a completely different source and viewpoint but I think they support each other well. January is about now. My now of Dear Teachers  was different than today’s. I’ve changed. Not in huge ways, but it’s there. We all s

Weathering Today's Storms with our Life-Value

I’m going to combine the above reference to week 19 of Dear Teachers and my Verbostratis blog essay for this week, Personal and Public Ikigai in the United States , because they dovetail. As I’ve stated before, January’s Dear Teachers essays revolve around “time”, especially “now”. Where I live, we’re expecting some winter storms over the next 48 hours, so the theme is fitting. In Marlene’s photo, her capture of the beautiful colors and textures of a summer storm rushing in reminded me that life is like that: wild stuff rolls in. We all have storms and it feels like they do so when we’re knee-deep in our “stuff”. Can we make it through them? Most likely, yes, if we have firm roots. The ways to form those roots are what I wrote about in the September-December essays. Our roots can also be described as our ikigai - our life-value. If we’re living in our passion and in a mission, AND if we’re within a culture that allows us to do that sustainably as a profession and as a vocation, we h

3 Keys to a New Year

1. January is about NOW. I know, it’s typically where we plan for the next 12 months. I know, it’s typically to list hopes and goals. To me, for those in education, it’s the time of the year to be right in the moment and moving. I picked images to reflect spring, even though (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) we’re facing our coldest times. It’s spring in our minds because we’re nurturing birth and creating so much right now. I mentioned Chinese New Year in this week’s essay as a reminder that getting things done is ongoing. If we stumble this week, we have the next, and the next. Each day gives us another go. 2. Our world is that branch. I love this image for several reasons, but one is because there’s a *group* of bees at work. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone. Your school, your town, your state, your nation, our world. There are teachers around the globe, busy. Going. This week, I was led to a blog where a teacher ( @oldandrewUK ) in the UK is keeping a database log of tea