For the first eight years of my life, my grandmother was my next-door neighbor. I have such fond memories of the two of us planting carrots, radishes, lettuce, and potatoes in her garden, hiking through the Hocking Hills on hot summer days, tooling around Athens, OH in her old, yellow, two-door Maverick, and standing on a chair next to her as she taught me how to make homemade noodles from scratch. Mimi, as we called her, looked for natural opportunities to teach me about the world. She taught me how to crochet, why ladybugs are so important, how an old telephone switchboard works, and about the joy it brings to a family as they listen to the matriarch sing O’Tannenbaum in German. Mimi taught me to have more faith in my life than religion, to love God to the fullest, and she taught me to trust and show loyalty to those who showed me the same in return. She taught me that people matter most.
Mimi lived 98 years. She lived a full life. She wasn’t an educator by training…but she was one of my first teachers. I, like many of you, have had many teachers in my life…my wonderful parents, K-12 teachers, university professors, colleagues (both near and far), friends, and students – both young and old. People impact us…they teach us…they show us how. Sometimes we learn by watching, sometimes by listening, and sometimes by doing. It is pretty evident in this world we live in today, that learning takes many forms and can look different to different people.
My family and I moved to NYC just over a year ago. I was on a quest to define what really matters in education…and work to figure out how to make it count. What an adventure it has been ~ and it is just beginning! I’ve launched my own inquiry about what matters and I’m working every day with dedicated educators to make that count…no matter what obstacles we face and no matter what comes our way next.
The work I am doing is an invitation to think with me ~ to think about what matters, what’s worth fighting for, and how we might sustain the integrity of the education profession. It is an invitation to document how, when, where, and why people – of all ages – learn. And, eventually come to deeper understanding. It is an invitation to work together to get stronger and smarter over time.
Will you join me on this journey? Will you help me look closely at beliefs? Practices that make a difference? Ways of thinking and ways of being that prove growth across time? I’m sure it will be thought-provoking and filled with hard work. It might even be tricky and a little exhausting at times. But, I promise, it will be interesting and fun! And, our journey together will help remind us of our love affair with education and all of the reasons we chose this as our calling to begin with. Are you ready? Let’s GO!