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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in empathy

Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

Empathy. Can't teach it, surely can model it. "Market Street", 2015, a Newberry, Caldecott and winner of other prestigious prizes, reads as a modern masterpiece for children of all ages. 

Not only does it appear to be a gentle intergenerational love story between a boy and his grandma,  we experience diversity, kindness and empathy throughout this simple story.

And the most lovely descriptions of a beautiful world maybe not so readily apparent until we really look beyond the obvious. Which is what we all certainly need to do.

 Let's take a bus ride, a very special one. Just us, like Nana and CJ, main characters in this heartwarming urban tale. 

Yesterday I went on the bus with Morgan's first grade field trip. She was so excited! I did a sleepover the night before. She woke me up about two hours before time for school, all dressed and lunch sack ready.

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Posted by on in General

crocus3

It's been awhile since I wrote for you and I apologize for that. The good news is I'm still here. I seriously doubted I could get out of the mess I was in, no fault of my own. Life happens.

This is not a blog about my illness, and what happened to me, but it does play a major part in my transformation. Only thing is, I'm not done yet. I remain a work in progress. In fact, I will probably send this blog post out in draft. My hands are still kind of shaky, so the very act of writing this is an act of love.

Being on Twitter and Facebook has been a revelation. After my husband died six years ago, I finished my last book "Reading Champs", a how-to skills guide. Then instead of marketing it, I let it sit on Amazon. I started writing again, left my historic home and property in Northern Calif. to move to Eugene. Unreal, for a nester, I moved three times, volunteered, then taught at the preschool. 

 Family and teaching, the constants in my life. Like breathing. My passion. My gift. Servant leader for more than forty -six years.

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Posted by on in General

The Parrot, A Thanksgiving Parable

I hope you enjoy this story, perfect for your Thanksgiving festiivities. Traditionally my family has always shared stories, our thanks of course, made plenty of toasts, and I always wrote plays for the kids.

Once in awhile we found something really fun to share at the table; this one came to me a long time ago from our friend Katie. I cannot source it, maybe it's famiiar to you. Let me know. Anyway, here goes. Get your grin on, and maybe just maybe some life lesson may pop into your head.

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.

John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Last year, I participated in more Twitter chats than I can count.  I co-hosted 2 Edcamps and went to a national conference.  I even traveled to Australia to present at a conference!  But, there was one professional development experience that surpassed any of those events by far; and it didn't cost me anything.  I participated in the inaugural Shadow a Student Challenge!

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In my work with design thinking, the foundational premise is based on the concept of gaining empathy to understand how best to help others and solve the right problems.  As a result, School ReTool, IDEO, Stanford's d.schools, and the Hewlett Foundation combined forces to create a movement to excite school leaders in spending a day shadowing a student to provide powerful insights and experiences in better understanding the world we are creating for our students, and how we can make it even better.

Even though we could all say we went to school when we were younger and are surrounded by students all day, shadowing a student, as a student, provides a whole different context.  It took time to blend in and remind myself of the pace of the day and true shifts in the uplifted cognitive rigor in our classrooms.

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Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

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 No matter where you look on social media, you will undoubtedly see posts about how happy people are to see 2016 come to an end. The year was marred by issues of violence and brutality in all areas of our country, deaths of many people who contributed to society, the election of a demagogue to serve as our president, and too many other occurrences to list. It is easy to see why so many people are eager to watch the calendar flip to a new year.

I understand it, but I don't agree with it. 2016 was an interesting year for all of us. It was even more so for me. This was the year that I became fully awake. I immersed myself in the issues that we are experiencing in our world. I became more educated so that I could bring these lessons to the students and staff in my buildings. I stepped my game up and started tackling issues and questioning on a much more public level. It has not always been easy or well-received, but I committed to being awake and working to awaken others.

I appreciate 2016 for all that it has done. I recognize that 2017 brings a lot of uncertainty. Nobody quite knows what direction our country and world will move after January 20. We have no clue how the events of 2016 will impact us at home or in our schools. This can create fear and trepidation, but we must not succumb to that. Instead, we must be more brazen, more steadfast, and more daring to do everything we can for our families, our communities, and our students.

This is why my one word for 2017 is awake. I am a lot of things, but I am an educator first and foremost. This extends to my family, my students, my staff, my community, my social media networks, and wherever else I can make a positive impact. Last year was the tip of the iceberg for me. I am awake and plan on doing everything in my power to create positive change in our world.

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