Sunday, July 17, 2016

Creating a More Peaceful World

I've missed Sunday mass for the past few weeks. Between vacations and conferences, I seem to be gone an awful lot. Today, however, we were home. Sitting in the church always brings some peace to my heart, my mind. Today our priest ended with a plea for us to help provide school supplies for those who can't this fall. He ended with, "I know this. If we want a more peaceful world, it begins with education." 

I sat in our pew with tears in my eyes. The news reports each day are wearing on me. I know their is evil in this world. I also know how much good there is. A week ago I wrote about the power of story to help us learn and grow. (HERE) One thing I think I left out was the importance of conversation.

My friends and I often joke about FOMO (fear of missing out) when we are unable to attend a conference. Never have I had FOMO more than last week when I read the tweets coming out of ILA. While the sessions were amazing, and plenty of friends were there who I wanted to see, specifically I wanted to attend sessions led by Cornelius Minor & Sarah Ahmed. They were discussing issues in our world right now - how do we confront unkindness when we see it, and how do we have these conversations in our classrooms. They talked about how we can't shy away from conversations with our kids, how important reading and writing is for our students. This is something my brain is swirling around.

As I move on to middle school, I'm looking for how my teaching life will be shifting. Conversation, however, has always been a focus. I want to talk to my students, to help them discover who they are, who they can become. Story, writing, conversation - these are the pillars my classroom will reside on.

If you want to think more about this, here are some links for you:

Here's a link to an amazing video on Facebook with Cornelius and Sarah talking with Heinemann Publishing about what their session would be about at ILA: (VIDEO).

A write up on Cornelius's pop up session at ILA (HERE).

Anne Lee's Nerdy Book Club post for Sunday (HERE). 

Pernille Ripp is the creator of Global Read Aloud (HERE) that I think could inspire tons of conversation both in the classroom and branching out to the world. 

As for me, my priest's words are woven into me today. Reading articles like this, reviewing the book Upstanders by Sarah Ahmed and Smokey Daniels, I am ready to be back with my students, back in the classroom. Conversation, stories, writing. This is how we will create a more peaceful world. Let's get started.