#hopeful

Today marks the first day that CO301D students are providing Morning Pages prompts, and you can see from the one below that they’re already off to a good start:

“I was asked to share my story, my concerns, and my beliefs about education. No one outside my family had ever asked me about my outlook on education. I realized I had a voice – an authentic, small but strong voice with a valuable perspective on students’ needs. Somehow I understood how to paint a picture with words, a picture that pulls people into my world with students.” (Crabtree). Both the Ally and Advocate badges inspire different reactions within each of us, but we all have a unique voice to share these reactions. How can you act as a leader within your current community? Your future community/schooling system? Think of the ways you can use your voice to share your thoughts and inspire change within all aspects of life as well as the education system. What will you do?

Today, maybe the best part of my day will be sitting here in this room writing with these human beings who have become dear to me in the course of this semester. As we’ve been working on their digital badges and they’ve made a couple of presentations to push out their learning, I’ve been inspired by their courage and candor. They’ve made me feel hopeful about the future of our profession, and I’ve gotta admit that in light of external demands on the national level (and even the local level), it’s been hard to feel hopeful.

But you know what, they have embraced teaching as a vocation, not just a 9-5 job (which actually is way longer than that for English teachers.) The word “vocation” comes from the Latin verb “vocare,” which means “to call forth.” Most days, they’re feeling called forth into this difficult, beautiful profession because they had teachers who were as well.

I’m working on another book right now that’s focused on vulnerable learning and teaching. The chapter at hand is one on mindfulness, and yesterday, I wrote about setting your “stubborn intention,” the one that will serve as a lodestar to guide your work with teachers and colleagues, the one that you will come back to when it just doesn’t seem worth the labor anymore.

And it will feel that way. I can promise you that. But I still can’t give up the idea of my stubborn intention that I, as a literacy teacher can teach in ways that will make the world better and that will help my students do the same.

Part of that is not “empowering” them to share their voices, but helping them to recognize that they already have the agency to do so. They can use their literacy tools to critique inequitable structures so that the “moral arc of the universe will bend toward justice,” as Martin Luther King, Jr., said on multiple occasions.

I’ve seen very young school-aged students share their voices. My university students who are answering their calling can do so as well. I have no doubt that they can. I have no doubt that they have something that I, that all of us, need to hear. #feelinghopeful #inspiteofeverything #co301d

 

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