Many months ago when I decided to sign up for a project that I thought sounded great. My students would be connected to students around the globe, we would be blogging and it would be based on a book. It sounded fabulous for a 21st century classroom. But sometimes when we walk through these doors of opportunity we really have no idea what will happen on the other side. Sometimes we imagine the impact it will have on our students academically, but think little of the bigger picture of how it will effect them socially, emotionally...and even better, how it will effect us as educators!
That is what has happened to me as I sit and reflect on the last two weeks of being involved in the Not So Perfect Hat Club with Jenaia Morane and Marty Keltz and all the other classrooms participating around the globe. My initial reactions can be found here two days in the project.
My eyes had been opened, and when your eyes open you can see more clearly. You begin to hear your own words differently, you pay attention closer to their reactions and you think more closely about your goals and time you give for students to be children. You read their words over and over and look for what they want to tell you. You offer hope, encouragement and support with a little more vigor. This became something BIG.
You also get excited about where you are headed and what the next weeks will bring. When Brian Host let me know that his kids in Australia had been working with Miss Jena for a while now, my heart soared. I could envision where we will be. It made me want to dream bigger and dig in deeper.
Yes, this is BIG.
But do you know when it gets even bigger...when you look up....and look out. There are some dark views out there in the world. Depression. Sadness, Bullies. Fear. It is dark, and it is difficult. A few things happened this week. First locally and then globally in Paris. Maybe they aren't quite connected in many ways, but they are in enough. Enough to know that I don't want to see these children without a whole lot of light within them to pierce this darkness. I want it bright, warm and comforting. I want them to feel empowered and strong. I want them to know that their perfectly imperfect selves are deserving of the very best, and can dream and achieve the biggest dreams. I want them to have such hope that the darkness doesn't stifle them.
So, I sit here and believe that this spark that comes from a school blogging project can become something so much more. These little lights can become so bright that others can be changed by them. I choose to believe that this will ripple each week, and then beyond those weeks. I am not even going to limit how big it can get with a guess. I am just going to pay attention and be happy that our class is on this journey, and watch and see just how BIG it gets!