In his book Mable McKay: Weaving the Dream (1994) Greg Saris tells an ethnohistorical story about Mabel, a Pomo basket maker while also discovering his own heritage in the process. At the end of the book Saris asks Mabel why she allowed him into her oral history which so few outside the Pomo knew. Her response….”because you kept coming back”.
In our education circles we are very busy dodging, planning, creating, and dealing seemingly “against” a system that is hell bent on making the corporate and managerial school a model for reform that is palatable to our communities. I see in your tweets, blog posts and videos that education innovators are struggling and letting it be known. It is a rough and emotional road.
In a recent blog post and Monika Hardy forwarded to me along with some sage advice coupled with my last few days at PFUNC 11 I am reminded that all of our wranglings in education need not loose site of our learning communities, and the humans behind them. We need to come back, consistently to young people. Do you remember beyond the banter of struggle what the noise of young people learning sounds like, looks like….? Do you remember the feeling you had; the heartache of happiness, body and mind full of hope…..hope. Do not loose these feelings, even in your radical reform work to help, political struggles and battles in education. But do not rest in your classrooms, learning centers and other space of education either.
Keep coming back to the learner: not the standard, model, curriculum….Weave your dream with learners as a learner, and never forget that they are there, watching, waiting, worried and hopeful. Listen to young people and they will do more than follow your lead, idea, design….they will lead, ideate, and design. Your dream will be successful, inspirational and world altering precisely because you kept coming back….to what matters to us all.