Reach out and Change

Summer has arrived in Minnesota. We are having days of 90 degrees and days of 59 degrees. A more typical June for us. We often have cool days during this warm up to the Summer Solstice. The cool nights and warm days are the ones that we sink into the joy of summer. A cool early morning mist, hot tea and a walk around the garden is a great day to settle the nerves and look for hope.

It has been a rough spring for everyone. Much harder for some than others. Changes have come quickly and yet here at home my day to day events seem very much the same. I work on and off in the garden. I take care of my grandson. I walk the neighborhood and the little local lake.

It is when I head out of my hood that it hits me over and over again. There are the people with masks. There are the boarded up buildings or the burned out lots. There are the homes with campers attached – places for first responders to sleep and be and not expose their loved ones. There is the on going phrase everything has changed and nothing has changed.

Again there are many where everything has changed both emotionally and physically. People without work, people who work from home, people go to work but are fearful each day that they too will get sick. There are those without homes due to riots and burning. There are those who still hold anger at how much it takes to make people understand.

I realize my white privilege over and over again. I have a safe home. I have the funds to live, eat and garden. I can spend my days in comfort and joy. I also know that I have tried through my 40 years of teaching to help my students understand social justice. I also know there was so much I did not know or did not understand.

The history that was not written or I did not know to go looking for. I accepted what was presented to me as I was growing up. I knew that things were bad. I lived through the civil rights era and read, supported and worked to support change. Then I moved on with growing up, teaching and helping my young students understand that things “had changed”. We discussed the joy of having a classroom full of students who had different colored skin. We discussed the idea that everyone had opportunities to go on to college, to get any job they would like.

I tried but still did not look deep enough to see that the changes were only on the surface and only in some places, some school, some neighborhoods. There continued to be so much I did not see and I did not go seeking.

Now as the riots are slowing and the protesters continue to march my new feed, my Instagram account, my FaceBook Account are full of articles, books and information. This news opens my eyes and heart once again to how much I missed and did not fully understand.

My listening and reading authors of color has opened the door again to thinking about how we live, how we treat people and what are the little steps we take each day that keeps others from living a safe and joyful life.

I know there are the “Large” racist people – the people that will fight so a person of color can not move forward. The people who target others due to skin color only.  Now I know to watch for the “Small” racist people who are not aware of their own racism. I know to watch my own speech and thoughts. I know that patterns I grew up with creep out at time and I may say something that is hurtful to others when that was not my intent.

I know that I have work to do. This work will be hard and will take time. I also know that if I want the world to change I need to be apart of that change if only in small ways. The change of racism must come from those with white skin. It is where it began and where it needs to change. We have our work cut out for us.

Read, Reflect, Write and talk to your friends. Then go out and ask questions and listen to those you do not know. Make new friends who look different from you, who come from other backgrounds and who live in different places from you.

We need to reach out and change.

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Ah, a moment of quiet rain

It is a quiet grey afternoon. There is a light rain and cool air drifting in the windows. “Little Man” has finally fallen asleep in this late afternoon rain. He was tired at one and could hardly keep his eyes open. By two p.m. he was manic – crawling from place to place, crying, laughing and bouncing. He wanted up but once up needed down. We had tried all the old tricks including the stroller ride (that was until it started raining and he thought that was great fun).

Now we, Grandparents, sit enjoying the quiet of the rain. We each have our computers out – reading or writing. A sense of peace at least for now. He has finally decided to nap.

IMG_7838We are doing weekly care for our grandson as his parents work – five days a week – all day. We can do this! I have taught forever – how much work can one grandchild be.

Well, it is surprising how much work he can be. Yes, I taught for 40 years and yes I raised two kids but old age has arrived even when we think it has not. Little Man has found all our weak spots. The back that hurts after lifting him up and down and around. The knees that use to be so flexible tend to creak a bit more when getting up from the IMG_8991floor for the umpteenth time. After running around all morning, handling the heat of the day, getting lunch ready, feeding and clean up and then no nap in site it leaves us realizing we are not as young as we use to be.

Would I give up this time? No way – to see him begin to develop language, to see the first few crawls and to sit with stories and stories to read. I will deal with the aches and pains of old age in helping raise a little one. It won’t be long before he is off to be with other children so for now I will find the Tylenol if I need it, do yoga and lift my hand weights so I can hopefully keep up with him over the next few years.

Ah, the life of a grandparent!

(It is all pretty special since I am aware of so many grandparents whose grandchildren are so far away and Zoom is their only way to connect right now. I feel blessed.)IMG_2745

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can’t be silent – we need change now

I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I love this city, and it’s people. No, it is not a perfect place. There is lots to work on. There are big issues with race and our police as you now all know. There is a gap in student learning with our students of color. There is lots to work on but there are good people who want to work on change and keep pushing us forward.

What has happened over the last week was a spark that ignited frustration, pain and lots of history that is not good. This pain and frustration is felt throughout our country. It is not just here in the Twin Cities. It just seems the spark for the flames started here when we lost George Floyd on that Monday.

At this time, layered on this grief, there is a group of people some who are from here and many from outside this area who are taking advantage of this sorrow and grief to disrupt life as we know it. These people are creating an “urban war” so to speak. They have attacked the urban core structures -the food chains, the drug stores, the small family businesses leaving people without ways to get the basic needs to care for themselves and families unless you have a car and can drive out of the main city centers.

They have created fear on top of fear due to the virus that is also circulating. They wander at night in dark unmarked cars with no plates. They leave collections of gas soak wood in baskets under bushes in alleyways. There are stolen cars left burning on roadways and streets. They appear to be organized and well supplied with fuel to create chaos and fire.

There are some of us who are living with fear but our homes are intact, we have cars and ways to get food and basic needs. There are some who are living in smoked filled neighborhoods where Targets and grocery stores sit smoldering from looting and then fires.

At least from my circle of people what I see is many, many of those who still have means to help are helping. Hundreds of people have rushed out to help clean up and find ways to protect those under fire. Hundreds of people are driving out to the suburbs to buy supplies and food to donate. When the call goes out on social media for help it is answered. A school asked for help with food and other needs for about 150 people. They ended up with bag and bags of goods that lined the block. They had way more than the needed so it was dispersed to other areas in need.

It is not the best system but people are helping people. People are asking what is needed and how can they help. Neighbors are watching out for their neighbors – checking in daily. They are setting up phone systems to alert each other if there are issue during the night. People are out patrolling their blocks and keeping an eye out for cars and people who are not usually on the block.

People Care! People are trying to find ways to help! We have a long ways to go but here in Minnesota even though the “urban war” is not over we are looking to heal and change things.

We must change the way we treat people. We must change the racism that is so obvious to all of us. We must walk away from violence and confront those who continue to stir up trouble. We as a country have work to do.

We need to begin that work now! How can you help?

Read, learn, listen and be open for change because change is needed. This is not going to be easy but it is important work!

Don’t be silent! Speak up and Help!

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Creating Now and Always

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner – continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you – is a fine art, in and of itself.”

                                                                                         – Elizabeth Gilbert from Big Magic download
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

Every few months I write a post about some creative project that I am working on. It is usually about a new skill I am hoping to learn or really picking up an old skill and project and working to finish it. I am a person who needs to be doing things and so projects are important.

I have found recently as retirement extends and the pandemic incloses us in our homes this is more important than ever. I also know for me that my project needs to have some sort of purpose. I am not good at doing things just to do them. The garden IMG_5415needs to produce cut flowers or veggies to eat, my writing is stronger when I write for my blog than in my personal journal, I only sew when something is needed (face masks).

So I have spent the last few months trying to get myself back to painting plants. I have been taking Botanical art drawing/painting classes for a few years now. I work hard during class and then it all just stops. It finally hit me that I need a project. Something I am working on that will have a finish. I need a beginning point and an ending point.

This is where Author Ashe’s quote comes in.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Well, I am not a full on botanical artist. I am not able at this point to bring that detail into my work. I do however have enough skill to start, with the hope of improving IMG_0420over time. So I found a project that will get me focused and can have a finish. I found a project that allows me to start at the skill level I am and provides me with room to grow.

I can use the materials I have (except for a new journal) and I can use the skills I have already learned. I don’t really need to take another class for awhile. I can review the lessons learned and now I practice and work.

The project is a journal that contains images of the plants in my garden. Since I spend all summer in the garden. I take pictures in the garden. Why not sketch and paint the flowers I am growing. It is all here and does not require me to go anyplace but home.

This journal can be as big as I want or as small as I need it to be. I can stop or do other volumes if I like. This garden journal can be passed on to my daughter or son or grandson as a reminder of the plants I have grown. I can include the photo images of each plant that I take to help me draw. It allows me to practice and build on skills. It gives me focus in a safe space and yet has a purpose behind it. It will keep me thinking, working and being creative.

It may help me

“…bring forth the jewels that are hidden within  – it is a fine art, in and of itself.”

Do you have a creative project in your life? Writing, sewing, building, painting, gardening – what do you do that is creative and nurtures your soul?

What do you do that amplifies, makes it a bigger, a happier, an expanded, and a hell of a lot more interesting life?IMG_6836 Rough draft of the spring crocus- beginning to learn

 

 

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Finding balance – needing physical and emotional space

IMG_6785Weeds are a mainstay in gardening. We gardeners complain about them, share ideas on how to get rid of the worst of them. It can be a daily task if you let it – pulling and pulling, digging and digging for roots knowing that if you leave even a small a bit that weed will grow back. It will sit there larger than before smiling at you. A mean little grin so happy to make your gardening life miserable.

I thought I would have hours of time this spring to get ahead of the family of weeds in my gardens. Since I was not working and basically here at home daily I was sure this would be easy. A little clearing of weeds daily will keep things under control this year. But …   (there is always a but – right?)

Little Man arrived in our lives and now at 11 months. He and the weeds control my daily activities. If the weather is right and the timing is right little guy will fall asleep on the morning walk. Then I can pull a few weeds while he continues to sleep. A great plan that has worked out exactly once in the last 6 weeks. IMG_7433

These weed bug me. They can upset me and make me feel frustrated. If I let them they can make gardening a pain in the rear end. They can send me right over the edge.

I realized yesterday that I could look at this differently. They are there and I can get to them when I am ready and have time. I am not running a “show” garden. No one is even looking at the back garden except me. There are no visitors to the house, no one standing on the deck checking out my weedy garden. There is no one upset with me about my weeds. So why am I letting these green plants upset me so much.

I need to breath and relax. I know that all the tension of our world right now has spilled over into my thinking and emotions. It is easy to lose perspective on things.

This week and last I had two different people doing the same thing – losing perspective over very small events and I joined them in how I responded.

One was at the hardware store – I was looking for child proof latches for the kitchen cabinets. We can’t enter the store so we have to tell the guy what we need. He goes and gets it and then we pay. I thought the child proof latch for a cabinet was pretty downloadclear. His response, in a stern voice, was “Lady there are all kinds of latches back there. I can’t bring them all up here just give me the code number of the item you want.” Not having a code number I tried once again to be more clear. He, even more upset with me, informed me I was to go home look it up, call and see if we have it and then come back here.”  With that he walked away.

I walked away upset and a bit teary eyed. I felt yelled at and that I had done something terribly wrong. On the walk home I took a few deep breaths and thought this through. He was stressed and edgy. This new way of working in a hardware store is not easy.  There are lots of people needing things and not always clear about how to describe it. He was struggling and it came out at me. I heard the tone of his voice and got defensive and upset. We both had lost it over a child latch.

The second was a call I got while I was sorting out how to use Google Meets for my book club. I am familiar with Zoom and Jitsi but wanted to try out Google Meets. I had my husband on, tried to reach a book club member (no go) and connected with GoogleMeetZoomGridExtensionFeaturemy son who was out walking and was connecting to this video chat while walking with his wife. In comes a call and I can’t sort it all out fast enough. So I don’t answer the call. It seemed like the best thing to do. Finish the meeting.

I finished the Google Meets trial with success and then called them back. I started with an apology for not answering and told them what I was up to. They got upset with me. Why had I not call them for the Google Meets trial? Why don’t I ever call them? I tried to explain and was hit with “don’t give me that excuse – you always have an excuse.”  Wow – I tried to sort this out but it ended in the person ending the call. They were going for a walk!  (Probably a good thing!)

Again with a few breaths and time. I realized once again here is a person who had had a stressful day, was calling to unload and I had gotten caught in the middle of her frustration. Her anger led to my being defensive and upset, again very quickly. In fact, it was too quickly. It was not a big deal but to her it was at that moment.

Our emotions are running thin. We look good on the surface. We seem fine but it does not take much to unearth a volcano of emotions that spew all over who ever happens to be around or whatever we are trying to do.

The new normal will take time to adjust to for all of us. There are many of us who are struggling way more than we realize. Many of us who were stressed for what ever reason before this began, about two month ago. So on both sides we need to give each other space, time and above all breathe.

The weeds, the hardware man and my friend on the phone are not the issue. We are working through big changes. We may each look ok on the outside but inside we are tumbling and struggling to bring things back to some kind of normal. While this goes on we each need to be kind, we need to think about what others are or have experienced. We just need to give each other both physical space but emotional space to heal and find our new sense of balance.

Be Kind! images

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Words to Communicate

Language is our way of communicating. The words we gather and learn as an infant carry us forward into childhood and on helping us navigate the world around us. In our world there are roughly 6,500 languages that are spoken (according to the internet). Each young child learns the words of their family with accents and all. As a new born, a child has the capacity to speak any language that they hear but over time they hone their ear to the sounds of their family and friends.

We have had the privilege playing with our grandson and watching him learn day to day as his parent work. We began with hearing sounds along with his cries as he asks for milk or to be held. There were weeks when I was sure he was speaking an Asian language given his inflection and then he would switch to sounds that reminded me of Spanish. There were coos and ahhs of different pitches. He seemed to be singing is way through his day in many languages.

Now he is almost 11 months old and he has been modeling the things we say after a few weeks of quite intense work on learning to crawl and thinking about balance to walk. His inflections are those of English and clearly following the sounds of his parents and grandparents, the people he sees. This week he must feel comfortable in his ability to get around because language is coming fast and furious. He can turn his energies to words instead of movement.

There are the long sentences with inflection that leaves us wondering what we are missing in his thinking since we don’t yet understand his language and he has not fully taken on ours. There are questions we are sure he is asking but we just are not getting the message yet.

There are the times when he is very clear what his needs are by sounds, facial expressions and body language. But this weekend he bust forth with his first true word that he used with meaning and not in imitation of others. On Sunday morning breakfast was being put on the tray of his high chair, a small bit of egg directly out of the pan. Being the big eater he is he picked it up quickly – looked at it and said “Hot”.  He was right the egg was still warm from the pan. The days of listening to all of us say hot when holding our tea or coffee cup transferred to his eggs. Language and words clearly now have meaning to him.

As this week has progressed he is using all the sounds he has been storing up in that little brain of his. It is not clear how many words he truly is using right now but there are plenty that make us know he will be a talker soon. And just like crawling we may rule the day we wished for language.

Well, not really although crawling is wearing us out as we hurry to keep up with the speed demon we love every minute of seeing him move on his own. I am sure language will be the same. He may talk too much but I am looking forward to those conversation as they develop over time.

Infant language and sounds are cute and fun but oh the joy of watching and listening to a child learn to communicate with the home language of their family is always amazing. Learning to say what they are thinking and the ability to communicate complex thought is a wonder. A gift to be nurtured and developed.

A clear large vocabulary, deep complex thinking patterns and a joy of knowledge is now the current goal in this house hold. There are stories to be told, books to be read and conversations to be had. The fun only gets better!

Loving the life of a Grandparent!

                            Little Man exploring The Grouchy LadyBug and The Little Blue Truck 

The fine literature of board books!

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Little Feet, Flowers, and wandering thoughts

I have been here with my computer on and off for about two hours and still have not IMG_7608.JPGorganized my thoughts into a coherent thought to write about. I have read other blogs, answered a few emails, walked about the house, fed a bottle to my grandson and spent time looking out of windows but no words have appeared here. Shouldn’t they just show up when I am sitting here?  Well – not today! There are lots of thought but none of them seem to develop into something worth writing about.

  • there is the on going e-mail to my niece who is starting a garden for the first time with her kids ( she sends pictures and I confer on what the next step is) IMG_6984
  • there are the little blue shoes sitting on the steps waiting to go for a stroller ride (they belong to Little Man who is not old enough to walk but loves strolling around the hood)
  • there is the parade of tulips and daffodils in my front yard that keep the color coming as we stay at home (I love the spring flowers)
  • there are the thoughts on going to Target – masks and no masks and oh so many people (I did not stay long)
  • there is the watching of the little bottom crawling away as fast as he can (it is work keeping up with a 10 month old  🙂 )
  • there is the sigh while thinking of cooking another meal at home (I am an ok cook – it is just not my go to activity. I miss the occasional out to eat and take out does not do it for me. Nice but not the same as sitting chatting at the bar with our local bar tenders. It is not the drink I have it is the chatter with friends. I miss them!)

IMG_8552I guess it is just one of those days – the sky is partly cloudy, the air is a cool spring morning and I am in a bit of a partly cloudy mood myself. So instead of forcing my writing I have built a list and will leave it at that.

All is good, we are healthy, and the flowers are in bloom. I can not ask for more right now!

I hope this finds you all well and settled at home!

 

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Savoring and Gratefulness -Playing in the dirt

IMG_2096.JPGSpring has finally come to the northland. Under my finger nails it has darken with the soil of my garden. If I scrub hard they will clean up but by summers end they will be toughen, and dark with the deep working in the garden – laborers hands. My wrist is already showing the summer IMG_9662.JPGband of white skin where my watch lies and a light golden glow of tanning skin around it. The knees on my jeans are dark with dirt each evening as I come in and I am forever dragging dirt, dried leaves and twigs into the house. It is garden season.

The temperatures have warmed to the 50’s and 60’s so the lettuce, spinach and kale have been planted. (A surprised 70’s yesterday felt hot to us.) The little seedling under grow lights now sit out on the deck in sunshine or rain. They may still get dragged in as the nights chill but they are learning to handle real weather – the big outdoors.

The tulips are up and blooming as well as daffodils and the Virginia Bluebells. The IMG_0738.JPGwild ginger has expanded on the back hill and their hidden blooms are laying close to the ground. Everywhere you look there is new growth –

  • Lilac bushes greening
  • Current bushes turning green with little yellow flowers getting ready to bloom
  • Raspberries canes sprouting out in the yard where they will need to be chased back into the garden bed
  • Oregano sprouting under last years woody stems
  •  Clematis peaking through the soil

IMG_5890.JPGIt is a world of wonder and surprise. The one day I think the winter has killed off another plant only to go out the next morning and find it reaching out of the ground toward the warm of the spring sun.

In all the explosion of growth you can find me crawling around each garden bed and down the fence lines weeding, cleaning up last falls leaves and sticks. It is the slow detailed work that I savor. This is where I really learn what is in my garden. It is when I feel the soil and know how dry or wet the land is. It is when I learn how each plant is really doing – are there bugs eating it, or die back from harsh winter winds, or is there new growth and expansion.

Yesterday while cleaning the Rhubarb and Horseradish bed I discover many little bulbs of Jack in the Pulpit growing. I have had a few in that bed but it was so fun to see these as young starts.

It is these moment that I savor and feel grateful for. This is when my mind really slows down and I just see, feel, smell and hear the world that is right in front of me. Everything else falls away for just a few moments. Here in my hands are wild plant bulbs with roots pushing out around the top of the bulb, green tightly coiled leaves reaching upwards and the smell of moist soil and rotting leaves rich with nutrients for all these plants surround me as I kneel in the dirt.

My garden is a place where the wild and the more cultivated come together. It is a location where I can sink into quiet reflection and watch the earthworms, the dreaded Creeping Charlie crawling around the grass and the wonderful un-spiraling of a Jack in the Pulpit, the fuzzy leaf and pinkish purple flower of wild Ginger and IMG_3201.JPGmy planted Tulips all doing what they do best – growing in the sunlight and warmth of spring.

Here is where I continue to find things I savor and am grateful for over and over again.

Where do you find things or experiences to savor each day?

 

 

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Slow going

IMG_6993.JPGI am usually a person who moves quickly. I am usually thinking of several things a one time and maybe doing several things at once. In the years of teaching that was always a good thing. I could keep lots of things going and still know what was happening with the students around the room.

As I have aged I have slowed a bit. I have learned to sit still longer. I can sit and read for longer periods of time. I am less impatient with people around me that are moving slowly. My walks have slowed down a bit. All of which is a good thing. I really don’t need to be running around crazy like.

But…

This “new normal” has really taught be to be even a bit slower. Or should I say is teaching me to be slower –

  • There are days that stretch out before me when reading a book for several hours is a good thing.
  • When walking late in the day when many of my neighbors are walking I need to slow or wait to let others go by to keep that safe distance as we smile and nod to each other.
  • The grocery store provides time for waiting when the veggie area is busy or waiting for the “even older” person to pick out bananas or potatoes from the bin. The line to check out which is spread out around the store also give plenty of quite wait time.
  • Since we go to the grocery store once every two weeks I have learned to wait for some food items. I find myself looking more closely at what food is in the house and learning to wait for the typical items we might have run out to pick up.
  • There are things I feel I need and have been ordering on line more often and waiting for them to come. No more running out to the store to get the item now. It is teaching me to wait and watch for what is to come.

In a world that was running on high speed and instant everything we have been forced to think differently, act differently, and for many of us eat differently. There are so many ways we are learning to slow down. We are learning to be patient. We are learning once again to use what we have on hand. We are cooking at home and not running off to pick up food so often.

I know, for some, this is really hard – they want that chia or coffee from their favorite coffee shop or the bake goods or a special name brand type of food that is no longer on the grocery shelves. We have become dependent on fast. It will take a while but I think it is a good thing that we are slowing down, learning patience and checking out the world from a different view point. We are seeing things from a slower perspective.

I have noticed more trees, plants and houses in my neighborhood. I have found new IMG_7775.JPGbrands of food that are fun to try. I have learned to try different types of tea and go without my beloved morning chia. The world is quieter and less polluted for now. There are longer talks with family members and friends either on zoom or at a safe social distance in the yard. People are willing to sit and chat awhile longer – move a bit slower.

The pandemic is not good but the slowing down is.

Enjoy this time of slowness as much as you can.

What ways have you found to slow down and enjoy these moments of quiet?

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Education and Analytics

download.pngAnalytics – Analytics relies on the application of statistics, computer programming, and operations research in order to quantify and gain insight to the meanings of data. It is especially useful in areas which record a lot of data or information.

I am not a data wonk. In fact I might be considered the opposite but I have a niece who works to gathering data world wide on big topics and then shares those findings. She works with analytics. The whole idea and process is amazing to me. The large thinking and the even larger task of gathering this kind of data to process.

After several chats about her work I began to think about education and the changes that have been needed for years. Our education system was developed long ago download-1.jpgwhen farming was a major occupation. We were an agrarian society. Times have changed and we are no longer tied so closely to the land and seasonal changes. We have slowly been making those changes but oh so slowly. The structure of our schools has stayed pretty much the same.

Then the year 2020 hit us fast and furious as Covid-19 showed up. The schools were shuttered, teachers have found themselves working hard to find a new way to do school. Across the world educators are seeking new ways to teach, to connect and to support students and families.

We as a society are getting a peak into what it is that teachers and schools really do. Families are realizing the support they were getting from schools. There was food systems, the social systems, for some there was medical support – connection to getting eye glasses, hearing aides and more. Oh yeah – and there is all the areas of academics.

So now we are all out developing ways of teaching and learning. Some have been doing this for months – those in Asia. Some of us for only a few weeks. In spite of this short time we are all learning an amazing amount.

What I do know is that everyone is doing things a bit differently. Some schools systems are working hard to get on-line learning moving. For some there is distance learning which is to say this is what we are doing until we return to school the way it was. Others are making paper packets to be handed out. Some schools have an on-line system already in place and are just adding students to that system.

I personally am out of the whole loop as a retired teacher but have nieces who are worried and seeking help because their school system is just shut down. They are told maybe they would get packets in a few weeks. They know this is not enough. So I am sending out what I can. I know that authors, writers, museums, zoos, artists, and more are quickly working to provide ways of learning through their web sites and virtual tours. It is all scattered but wondering opportunities to learn in new and interesting ways.

There is so much happening. In realtime is there someone who is gathering data? Someone who is looking world wide to see what educators are doing and what might be working? What is happening in each country? What systems are being developed and put in place to support families? Where are the holes and what is being missed? Where should schools, social services, medical and city or state governments be working together is help all people support the children in our society?

We know that things will be and should be different when we step out our doors from Shelter in Place. We will have, hopefully, learned a lot about ourselves, our families and what is important to all of us. I hope we will have also learned a lot about teaching and learning. We may be able to create a new way of learning that supports all students, that looks to the future and uses our resources in better ways.

My question is who is asking the big questions? Who might be leading this interesting research?  Maybe the question is, in all this hurry and struggle, are we personally recording the changes, the things that work and don’t work for us, and  the students. Are we watching to see who is missing out and why?  Will we have time over the summer break to look back and see what happened this spring? What lessons we have learned personally, professionally and as a larger system of learning?

Although it is hard and emotionally gut wrenching now – I have to hope we are looking forward to the days of sunshine and socially closing the gap that we have had to create. In this tumble of new ways of learning that we are holding onto the things that work, the new ways we might change our work and looking out to see what others are doing.

So what is happening in your district or classroom? What is the data that tells us what is going on now?

  • Are you connecting with students daily? weekly? not at all?
  • Are your feeling supported? or out on your own?
  • Are your students working on paper packets or computer directed learning from you? or is your district created mass lessons for all students?
  • How are students experiencing gym, art, music?
  • Are teachers using the community resources of authors, artists, virtual tours?

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What is going on out there in the bigger world of education? Who is doing analytics on education right now?

 

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