Rising Higher and Higher

This week, I’m including the full essay from my book, Dear Teachers. In addition, I’m going to share a link to a beautifully written blog entry from a teacher I’ve met on Twitter, which I believe resonates with it. It’s Julia E. Torres’s An Open Heart, which talks of the need of being both true and there for all our students.

The picture I used this week wasn’t the normal nature scenes. It’s a balloon, whose pattern reminded me of rainbows and seagulls, flapping across the sky. The word choices I made were influenced by BTS’s Outro: Wings, a powerful song about hope, belief, and  the need to support each other.

All my April essays focus on really seeing what is. Especially now, we may be too exhausted to see either our or our students’ progress. We may be disheartened by personal or larger-scale setbacks and feel swamped by negativity. But if we find time to look, we’ll see our balloons are still rising and we can make changes to help them rise further. There’s hope! All by working and being together.

I hope you have a good week- and that you can feel the lift somewhere along the way!

April- Week 33- Rising Higher and Higher

Do you feel like you and your students are ascending?

In the classroom, we must track data and plot growth. There are important milestones, however, that do not get officially recorded. Kind words said, friendships made and leadership shown. Insightful observations, confessed dreams and attentive listening. All great skills for adulthood but many times forgotten or overlooked in our day-to-day obligations. These are wonderful rising moments.

It’s true that some of what we see is ugly. Yet, for however far down some can go, we as a species will go correspondingly that much higher. This can be observed in any classroom today. Students are demonstrating high-end skills their predecessors never even dreamed of. Our overall society has tendencies it’s never demonstrated as well, both good and bad. We must rise to the challenge of dealing with it all and that might mean revising our blueprints.

Yes, we’ll get kicked in the teeth. We’ll stumble. We’ll make horrible decisions occasionally. Yet, look what humanity has accomplished in the last 100 years. Innovations and ideas we consider natural today were inconceivable or impossible to our forebearers.

We may have to dump some cargo along the way to give our balloon enough lift. We may have to rethink our fuel or flight plan. But, we can do this if we persist and work in concert. Envisioning, dreaming and trying- we ask it of our students and we should ask it of ourselves as well.

Higher and higher- we can fly.

Reflection: How I am Rising… How My Students Are Rising:


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