Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our first post!

It is the start of the New Year, and with that comes resolutions and plans to make improvements to be our best selves. We all do this, as there is something so ceremonious and comforting about ringing in the New Year in this way.

And as well intentioned as we are, there is something about these resolutions that is temporary and fleeting. We are ambitious and earnest, but most of these resolutions fall to the wayside by mid February.

And in teaching, that can happen as well. Increasingly each day we are asked to adhere to new protocols, implement new curricula, consider new ideas and teach in an ever changing new world.  And that is ok, it really is. As long as we remember what. matters. most.

I learned all about focusing on what matters a few years ago when I started yoga. In yoga, when you are trying out poses that require balance, it is helpful to focus on one spot in front of you on the floor, the wall, or some other area. Staring intently at this spot, known as a drishti, helps you remain balanced and thus implement and hold the pose.

The same is true of teaching. As educators, we need to find our drishti — a focal point, passion, or point of interest that keeps us well balanced and reminds of what we hold near and dear and what we know matters to our learning and to the learning of our students.  

This is the driving force behind this blog, the reason why we want to be out in the world with our voices and the voices of others around the ideas and topics that resonate with us and that we know matter in teaching and learning.

So we will do just that. In each post, we will explore the ideas that we feel are seminal to teaching and learning and represent ideas that we are passionate about.

We have been collaborating for over 15 years. We have been in each other’s presence in classrooms, lecture halls, study groups and our own personal collaborations and have come together around so many ideas, that we feel we have a deep and shared understanding of what matters most to the heart of teaching and to the art of our profession.

And we want to open up this collaboration to all of you.  

We want to hear your voices — your experiences and your ideas, your responses and most importantly what matters most to you.

Do you ever feel that you would just like to focus on best practices in your classroom?  Create an environment for your readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists and historians that invigorates your work and is inspiring for you as well as your students? With this blog, we will do just that — focus on ideas that allow you to think deeply and widely about a variety of topics and in addition, we will provide support and resources for you as well.  Please join in our conversation by adding comments, sharing with colleagues, and tweeting your own ideas and classroom examples with the hashtag, #whatmattersmost. We are looking forward to this adventure and thank you for joining us on this journey.

Patty and Bev.