Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My why, first draft

I suspect there's more to say here since I've been carrying these thoughts around since Friday... However, given that I'm feeling under a variety of guns, writing short will have to do for now.

On August 12, riding the bus to school on the last day of week-long professional learning and back-to-school readying, I read Dan Myers' blog on the power of testifying. His three questions haunted me: Why are you here? What is your project? How do you testify on its behalf? Then, when I landed at school, we watched part of this video, in which Chris Anderson touts curiosity's power in facilitating learning. The serendipitous mash-up of Myers' and Anderson's thinking felt like a pedagogical Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, coming together into my delicious why.

Literacy is a crucial conduit, feeding curiosity through reading and enabling the spread of ideas through writing and speaking. It greases all the wheels in the learning machine. That thought makes me reach back to something I read last spring in The Innovator's Mindset. Its author George Couros quotes education professor Yong Zhao who says, "Reading and writing should be the floor, not the ceiling." And there's my why: Support learners of all ages to reach literacy's floor as quickly as possible, so they may start climbing higher as soon as possible.

While I read and (increasingly) write, how else can I testify on behalf of literacy's power? How can you? Or, if not for literacy, then for what?


  1. I love the way you phrase things! " a pedagogical Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, coming together into my delicious why" describes that feeling exactly. I tend to testify in my head (and often in my actions) but should do more of it in words. Your slice made me think- thanks for that!

  2. Well, goodness! This strikes a chord with me, for sure! Whether it is for my own children or those in my classroom, literacy is my #1 priority. I love the idea of "My Why". Great way to kick off back to school PD!

  3. This sort of philosophical reflection at the beginning of each school year is why I celebrate New Years in September, not January. Thanks for sharing those links.