Monday, September 27, 2010

Making pizza and thinking of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia PLP cohort

Yeast, sugar, water and some flour---

Pizza dough in the making---

Adding some sugar and warm water to the yeast---

Hmm, a bit of interaction as they get to know each other—

Then stirring in flour and kneading—

Observing the relationships the ingredients are forming---

The dough with continued kneading (I’m not one of those pound-get-rid-of-the-frustrations kneaders but more a gentle but firm pushing one) becoming elastic, malleable, and open—

With a timer set for the rising, I’m thinking and anticipating---

In one sense, my anticipation is focused on great pizza dough and the subsequent eating of homemade pizza. Yet on the other, my thinking and anticipation are on the upcoming PLP kickoff for Archdiocese of Philadelphia cohort for which I have the privilege and honor of joining as community leader.

Last year as I joined a new cohort I wrote:

Anxious yet eager--

Apprehensive yet confident—

Never really knowing the ending, yet perceiving an exciting journey--

Always upbeat and hopeful—

From kindergarten through 35 years in education, more than 55 years (oh my goodness), always the delight and thrill of a new beginning—the first day of school!

And still, those same feelings -- and an additional sense of urgency-- to get to the work that I passionately believe can result in a more accomplished global practice, a practice that seizes the potential of collective action to make this world a better place. --Beginnings

Those same feelings are accompanied by thoughts a bit deeper this year. As the pizza dough rises, I’m wondering if there isn’t an analogy here; if the ingredients for the dough aren’t like the cohort members which when the opportunity to interact with one another, begin to develop deep and meaningful relationships with one another, to grow and stretch. And with thoughtful and careful nudging and encouragement, they may begin to collectively become open to new ideas; they may work together to grow such a community that by its very nature embraces the strength found in flexibility and the potential that arises from kneading together ideas for new possibilities.

This batch of dough – exceptional. And I’m going beyond hope to work to assure that the relationships formed in this upcoming community are as extraordinary, as deep, as meaningful, and as fulfilling. For it will be with those relationships that, together, we will learn, and connect and collaborate and eventually take collective action to improve instruction for our students. And with that, may the extraordinary become an ordinary occurrence.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia PLP cohort-- are you ready -- to mix together, to grow and stretch and develop those extraordinary relationships? And can we have pizza too?

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