What has contributed to the educator you are today?
When I was a kid, we roamed the neighborhood and spent much time playing in the lilac bushes along the side of the house making mud pies.
Mud and leaves and flowers stirred and decorated. We planned a feast and decided what and how to do each part. If one thing didn’t work, we worked out how to make it work. It was creative collaboration at its best: messy, mixing, remixing, mediating until, together, we friends were satisfied enough to gather our moms for the feast. Covered in mud, soaked and cool in the hot summer sun, and pleased with our creations, we entertained ourselves for hours while learning about design [mom’s marigolds and hollyhocks], conservation [this much will work], mixture [that’s too goey], and so much more.
Mud pies with friends– mess condoned by mom — definitely contributed to being the educator I am today: Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness.
My boys and my grandchildren were given creative reign in their play. The backyard included mud, books in boxes, art supplies [paint rocks, bark, books], planting gardens, etc. As Den Mother, our large den of sixteen boys followed the same path of wonder: what would you do, what is your interest, how will you do that, who will work with you… play, collaboration, and inquiry.
So, when Eastern Washington University introduced me to Papert, Vygotsky, Dewey, Piaget, Bruner, Moffett, Caulkins, Atwell, and Veatch [ a few of the many ], it was not a stretch to understand how we learn, especially together in inquiry and with time for play — with ideas, concepts, conversation, and recess. And each course expected hands-on practice, planning, revision and remix, connections and collaboration, and thoughtful reflection.
So, in my classroom the students actively learned and from that came the support of my administration and school board to continue the pedagogy of student-centered, learner-centered agency.
So, in the next wave of learning through professional learning networks [#etmooc #clmooc etc], many global collaborations emerged, beyond the classroom to bring students and teachers into connections in the world.
All I am came from these past giants:
- my parents, children, and grandchildren who enriched my understanding of learning through creative and collaborative play
- the past greats who began the study of social learning
- my colleagues who worked with me– in my school and beyond
- my school district’s and my students’ support
It all began with mud pies, and the rest of these were the continued ingredients, mixed and remixed and mentored as I learned and grew with my peers and students. Everywhere are giants from whom we learn, in our everyday connections and collaborations.
Follow these hashtags for connected learning and inquiry– they are always an inspiration:
Today, from #etmooc – a fitting quote:
"If you do not know something, embrace that as an opportunity to learn something new yourself and to teach others the importance of learning through discovery." .@ericcurts #vanedtech #learners #ownit #caedchat #tlap #etmooc
.@JJVandal .@moffatt_teach pic.twitter.com/aNMAL2AFrq
— Glenn Hervieux (@SISQITMAN) June 17, 2019
June 15 from #clmooc
— KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) June 15, 2019
Always thankful for their friendship and mentorship and inspiration.
Note: I should have named this post Mud Pies, but I am ever thankful to those who came before and who surround me now.