This is not a political post. This is not a political post. This is not a political post.
I am encouraging everyone to write this 100 times on the chalkboard. Okay, frankly, there are some of you who have never even seen a chalkboard, but trust me on this one----whiteboards are SO much better....for those of us, especially, who have issues with getting chalk on our hands. Oh boy....that whole issue is for another day and another blog.
Perspective is a funny thing, isn't it? Some people are thrilled with the election while others are not. Some people (even in the same family) see their childhoods as great learning opportunities while others see their early childhood years as reasons for not achieving their dreams. Some people see rain as a way to ruin your parade, while others see rain as an answer to prayer for their withering crops. This morning, as Dave and I drove to church, we headed east toward the Catalina Mountains, which have provided a most beautiful backdrop to Tucson over the last eight years of our life here. Over the Catalinas hovered enormous looming clouds, ready to burst open with rain, sleet and snow. We marveled at that sight while driving. At one point I turned around, and in the west, over the Tucson Mountains, the sun was shining so beautifully and brightly, Dave and I had to marvel and make a choice. We could look toward the east and see gloom or we could look to the west and see the sun on our way to learn more about the Son! Couple that with the fact that our priest's sermon was all about how during Jesus's walk on earth, He challenged people to turn around, to turn away from hypocrisy. What a Godwink for us! We also heard a pretty cool thought on the Praise and Worship station on Sirius XM on our drive to church. It was something to the effect of: Quit worrying about whether or not you are an elephant or a donkey, and focus on the fact that you are a lamb of God. Wowee!! I just loved that. On what do we spend the bulk of our time, thinking and Facebook posts? It sure seems, at times, that negativity is winning out. And then Amanda Gorman steps onto the stage at the Inauguration (remember, this is not a political post; this part is all about beauty!!) and recites her poem, "The Hill We Climb" , and our country seems like an amazing place to live and grow.
Dave and I are in the midst of making some major changes in our lives. We will be moving from Arizona to Texas (my homeland, by the way) soon, and we are looking at this situation through different types of lenses. While Dave will be leaving behind some really great golfing buddies (and an amazing golf course, to boot), he is excited about the prospect of playing different courses in the hill country area of Texas. While most all my work is online, I am hopeful I will be able to teach face-to-face courses at Trinity University in San Antonio (my B.A. alma mater) in the coming semesters. We are at the same time dreading boxing up all of our goods and excited about building a new home. It's all about our perspective.
As far as education goes right now, I talk to many, many educators on a regular basis. I supervise student teachers, and they are so excited to begin their journey to gain their own classrooms by next fall. I talk with educators who are struggling desperately with the shift from face-to-face learning to distance learning and all that entails. I'm working with some schools on new and innovative digital tools that are engaging students in ways that we wouldn't have imagined fathomable a year ago. I believe these tools and strategies have stretched all of us in education such that even when we are back face-to-face, we will still have a treasure trove of online techniques that we can add to our repertoires. Yes, there are major challenges: parent support, building relationships with students online, assessment in online conditions, and the hits just keep coming. But there are also spots when we turn away from negativity and find the sunshine making a clear path to innovative ways of teaching and learning. I am so proud to be a part of education (working with educators, educational leaders, my own students at the B.A, M.A., and doctoral level, etc.) right now and look forward to what the future has in store for me, personally, as well as for all of us in this amazing field.
Just for today, perhaps take a look behind you. Turn away from hypocrisy; turn toward the light that is as bright as we are willing to make it. And share that outlook with others as you see fit.