Who I’d Be

My class has started their own blogs on Kidblog.org and to get them going I thought it would be easy for them to write about themselves. We started with the basics…name, age, families…you know the drill. Yesterday I asked them to write about what they want to be when they grow up. Simple, sweet, visions of the future.

Something made me think, though. How many of these kids will be told “No, you can’t do that…you can’t have that dream!”? I hope none of my students will ever experience that. I hope none of them are discouraged from following their dreams or envisioning a future that is beyond what anyone else could imagine for them.

My sons’ musical theatre department is going to be producing Shrek the Musical next year. It is a HUGE undertaking, and my oldest son wants to audition for the part of Shrek. I don’t know if he realizes the enormous scope of this play, but that’s ok…I know he and his castmates can make Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and the other characters come alive.

One of the songs from Shrek the Musical that really struck a cord in my heart was “Who I’d Be”. Donkey asks Shrek what he’d be if he weren’t an ogre…please take a moment to watch the accompanying video. My post will make much more sense.

Even Shrek, the ugly, surly, nasty ogre had dreams. He thought he knew the trajectory of his life because of who he was when he was born, but he still had dreams of greatness. And as you know, all fairy tales work out in the end.

Not all of us can have “happily ever after”, but I hope that I can instil in my students a desire to be the best they can be and so that they will have the courage to follow their dreams. Hopefully none of my students will settle for what someone else determines to be their lot in life. I can’t wait to see them all grow up to be accomplished, contributing members of society. I have faith in them just like Fiona had faith in Shrek.

For my own two boys, I wish them great joy and happiness. I hope they find a career that is as fulfilling and satisfying for them as teaching is for me…whatever that may be.

Be the Bulb

As I have written before, I have a hard time thinking of myself as a leader. I’m just me. I do what I do and don’t really think about the fact that what I do and how I teach is different than some. I always keep in mind what is best educationally for my students and that’s all I can expect of myself.

After being featured in the “Building Leaders” series in School District #34 (Abbotsford), organizing Edcampkinder Abbotsford and having given a presentation to the University of Victoria’s edci515 class, I have come to realize that I am a leader and I need to embrace that.

An interesting twitter exchange with Steve Carleton, an Assistant Superintendent in my school district has encouraged me to keep leading from where I am. Here is that conversation:

Be the bulb. I think this will be my new mantra. I know I speak often of #kinderchat and the amazing potential for learning using twitter as a tool, but this is still such a new concept it will take a while for the idea to catch on with others. In the meantime, I will keep doing what I am doing and hopefully my colleagues will see by what I am practicing that there is value in what I have learned and what am trying to share.