Wednesday, July 4, 2018

#cyberPD - Week One

I appreciate the opportunity to read Being the Change by Sara K. Ahmed and connect with others who are doing the same in the #cyberPD community. I love the collective voices of this community as we journey through our learning together. 

I read the intro and Chapters 1 & 2 slowly because I wanted to take in the deeper meaning nestled among the words on the page. I kept trying to step back from focusing on the words to create a broader image of my understanding and the impact this book could make in classrooms and schools. I think sometimes when we read professional books we grab ideas from the surface of our understanding and think about how we can implement them in our classrooms. But slowing down and thinking about the larger landscape of Sarah’s words helps us understand more deeply the subtle changes we can make in our classrooms and how the shape of our words in conversations can create a larger and lasting legacy in our classrooms and schools. 

Step back and think beyond the page to a wider perspective of what Sara is trying to say to us. Like Peter Johnston in Choice Words, it’s the words we choose, the way we say them, and when we interject ourselves into classroom conversations that makes all the difference in the world. Sara champions the voices of children as she shares her collaborations with students and encourages us all to make room for the identity of each child. 

Sara says that kindness, compassion and empathy have become buzzwords on posters in our schools. This conversation that Sara is having with us in Being the Change is much more than that. We need to guard against homogenizing these ideas and hold fast to a deeper understanding and more thoughtful collaborations with students. Sustaining this deeper understanding will take a little more energy than hanging posters on the walls. It will take a consistent state of reflection as we build communities that can make a difference in the world. 

Where do we find the courage and commitment to step forward in building relationships that matter. Right here in #cyberPD. It's the place to begin. Our conversations with each other will plant the seeds of deeper understanding and create a passion for what we can accomplish in our classrooms and schools. I feel energized when I read the posts from others in the group. I am looking forward to the conversations throughout July and I can feel an energy building that will recognize and value the identities of students who come together to make a difference in the world.