Friday, October 20, 2006

Energy expended for the possibilities!

I've not been around here much lately. I've been spending time commenting-- to students--encouraging, validating, celebrating. Students on the AP Calculus AB, Pre Cal 40s, and Pre Cal 30S blogs are sharing some pretty incredible learning. The youngsters at Blogical Minds are just getting started, full of enthusiasm and great ideas.

In addition, in response to some encouragement, I submitted a proposal for the K12 Online Conference on commenting as I am really convinced that deeper dialogue on the blogs can lead to so much more learning. I was surprised, and that is an understatement, to find an email of acceptance. What an honor to contribute to a unique new venue, yet really feeling way out of my league! And so the presentation has been humbly submitted to what I believe is an opportunity full of possibilities for those who chose to read, and learn, and comment and create. What might occur in classrooms following this learning is an exciting thought!! This sense gave rise to my volunteering to assist the conference organizers in any way I could prior to submitting a proposal; I'm glad to act as the "continuity editor" as Darren so graciously and generously titled what I'll be and am doing. To contribute to a sincere effort to improve learning for students and assist teachers in becoming more accomplished is pretty special.

The possibilities seem enormous--already the first online preconference keynote that was heard by educators around the world and a fireside chat to continue conversations. Those conversations deepen in the blogosphere where Darren with great passion articulately reflects upon the work and energy, the synergy of the keynote, and the challenge before us all:
"In my day job I will continue to use blogs and other online tools in my teaching. I will continue to foster excellence in my students by having them contribute to the world's knowledge commons via their online presence. And, as one of them said in our recent podcast, I will continue to try to make them feel as though "the ordinary in our class is extraordinary."
..I teach other people's children to grow into making the ordinary extraordinary. Who will do the same for my kids? I'm trying in my own way.. "
...making the ordinary extraordinary... Now I really like that; recognition of the challenges but lots of powerful energy expended for the possibilities!!! --making the ordinary extraordinary-- Darren I hope you don't mind my using that eloquent phrase with proper credit, of course.

I spend many hours these days engaged in opportunities to contribute to education. My retirement has provided time for that--I am fortunate and thankful. Hopefully these contributions are always positive energy expended for the possibilities that might result-- for teachers, youngsters and learning. I'm sure others might disagree and that's ok. But I'm wondering if in the disagreement we might just choose to go our ways and expend the energies for the possibilities we each see as opposed to taking time to fault the other. Oh that the discussions about the K12 Online Conference at Half an Hour focused on possibilities and what we can do in education. Couldn't we learn more to improve our teaching practice, to make the ordinary extraordinary, and then assist our youngsters in becoming life long learners if energies were expended on just that, the possibilities?