Monday, May 23, 2011

The Holy Grail is Us

We keep looking for the Holy Grail "out there," but we have everything we need for the profession in the profession. As Alma Harris iterated at the recent NPBS Seminar, "There is nothing more powerful than teachers working together on what matters." The question becomes, if we know this (and surely we do), what's stopping us? Three things spring to mind.
  • We get distracted.
  • To learn together demands that each of us steps out of our circle of confidence into a place of dissonance and uncertainty (Lorna Williams gives us a beautiful word for this concept: cwelelep).
  • We yearn for quick fixes.
 As the distractions increase and the snake oil salesmen with the Holy Grail neatly packaged proliferate, it is more important than ever that we slow down to take time to talk together, to think hard together, to prod and support each other as we step into learning (push, but not be pushy as Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser say), and to have faith in each other to do what's most important for our children. No one of us has the answer, because the answer is our working and learning together. It's slow work, but as GK Chesterton said, "One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time." We'll get there faster slower.
Image from Wikimedia Commons

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