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Love prevails, actually

February 20, 2016

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Exhibit A

An email sent this week to a colleague who made the sea change: Responding to a query about our new school year, I  told him I am loving our Humanities team.

Exhibit B

Wondrous admiration sent via iMessages to my Aunt and Uncle following our Facetime chat before breakfast this morning.

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Throughout their (English) winter they have harnessed emotional reserves to care for my Nanna who is transformed by dementia. Above: a view of their garden. Inside, my Nanna sits roasting bare ankles beside the Rayburn, floral orange wallpaper is unchanged since 1975 when my dad redecorated, the clock ticks, and a meal sits waiting on the kitchen table.

Photo taken last April by me as my alter ego – niece/ granddaughter. Easier through a lens to be alert. To capture feelings related to people, memories, place. Easier seeing love after the fact.

Exhibit C

Daughter 2 came home for dinner last night with tales of work and study and boyfriend and tribulations and passions and B vitamin supplements and hilarity of comment and gesture… and all just like that. One single stream of verbal outpouring. All of this chat flow while eating, checking phone messages, dazzling with radiant energy. It can only be love.

To us as parents, delighted and bemused, she is a work in progress/ a Russian doll with parts hidden inside which resemble the baby, toddler, child, teen and – external layer here – the adult she has become.

All in one. Like this:

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Exhibit D

The week that was.

IMG_6515.JPGA workish week:

Deadlines, loadings, emails, tears, phone calls, laughter, hushed conversations, considered thinking. Data analysis and review.

Mindful words, meetings behind carefully closed doors, prepared lessons, formal observations, walkthroughs, chats, interruptions, requests and deliveries. Did I mention interactions with students? They are in the mix as a foregrounded spectacle. Moments which pass in class/ hallways/ offices which open themselves to consideration after the event.

Afterwards like here. In blogging. To see.

Occasionally shared with family members as stories or character vignettes. Then they become polished in the telling. Usually joyous. Sometimes heartbreaking. Often  revealing.

Common element? My lens. The one I bring to bear. The eye of this beholder shares.

With love.

…”Engaged” is a great way to talk about liberatory classroom practice. It invites us always to be in the present, to remember that the classroom is never the same. Traditional ways of thinking about the classroom stress the opposite paradigm – that the classroom is always the same even when students are different. Sitting around with colleagues at the beginning of the school year, they often complain about this sameness, as though the classroom is inherently a static place. To me, the engaged classroom is always changing (hooks, 1994, p. 158).

Selected reference

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.

 

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