The Power of Hope…

Hope gives us the energy and desire to go forward, to learn, to reflect, to innovate. Hope is a candle in our darkness – guiding us as we continue forward. Every day is a PD day. #myPDtoday

This is something that I reflect on each day. How have I learned and grown today? How have I pushed myself to stretch? What have I done to help others? How have I supported others in their journey?  How have I been an example for others? 

 All of these are important for me because of HOPE. 

 Yesterday I shared this quote from Jen Erso in Rogue One 

“We have Hope. Rebellions are built on Hope.”

One of the reasons I like this quote is that I’ve always kind of felt like a rebel, someone on the outside who is trying to make a change. I mean,  I’m not the only one. I see it on my Twitter feed, in my Voxer chats, on my Instagram feed, in blog posts I read – teachers who are trying to make a change. They have HOPE that what they are doing will bring change in some way for their students and for education. Whatever the situation, they see inequalities and are trying to make changes within a rigidly structured system that resists, to a large degree, any change to the status quo. 

We have HOPE because we see clusters where there has been a change and it is being shared. I have been able to connect with teachers who have been successful in engaging other teachers in making changes within their schools and, in some ways, changes within their extended districts. It may not be widespread but these give us HOPE that such change is possible for schools and school systems.  

There is NO list for HOPE

I often run across the lists for making change. Changes to our health. Changes to our finances. Changes for our families.  

1, 2, 3 – follow the list and the changes will happen. Funny thing is the lists don’t stop. Each day someone writes a new list of ways to….  

and we’re hooked. We’re looking for that easy fix 1, 2, 3 start to see, 4, 5, 6, we hope this sticks, 7, 8, 9 it might be fine ….. 10 begin again! Another list. Another count to 10.  

Begin Again. 

 In education, we see this over and over. Book after book.

Presentation after presentation.  

Begin Again.  

HOPE doesn’t come from a list. It comes from what you do and the people around you. It comes from seeing a glimpse of what is possible. It comes from faint whispers that things might work. From smiles on faces. The physical release of tension. It comes from that little feeling that, yes, one is on the right track. It comes from trying, persevering, collaboration. It grows out of what seemed to be impossible  

For some, this HOPE comes from their faith. For others, it is more a spiritual connection. For others, it is a belief in people. HOPE comes from all sorts of different places and affects each of us differently. But, wherever its source, it gives us the will to persevere, to look for ways to continue to move forward, to innovate and to make a change.  

No list will help create HOPE.  

It’s NOT easy

As someone who has been dealing with depression my whole life, there were times I did lose HOPE. Deep darkness is the only way I can describe those times. I feel grateful for having made it out of those times of darkness. Even now, there are days I struggle. That is why being surrounded by others who share their HOPE for better, for growth, for change is important. My family and friends are so important but so are my connections. It is sometimes these people who provide me the greatest support, who remind me of how important it is to continue on, to persevere, to innovate – to continue to HOPE. 

A time for HOPE

This is a time for HOPE. A time where, despite all that is happening, there is an opportunity to shift education, to reflect on what is happening and make changes. It doesn’t come from recreating the experience of school in the living rooms and on the dining room tables of children. It doesn’t come from lists of resources or the creation of online classrooms where student attendance is taken each day. It doesn’t come from packets being sent to stressed-out parents expecting them to become pseudo teachers.  

HOPE comes from realizing that there is an opportunity to reimage learning in a different way. HOPE comes from being able to break away from the century-long image of school to re-image it in a new way. HOPE comes from seeing children as explorers capable of amazing learning adventures. HOPE is seeing the inequity in education and addressing this in new ways. HOPE is creating new relationships with parents and caregivers around what learning means.  

Yes, we are experiencing difficult times which will require us to make difficult choices. We will be asked if we want to continue this exploration or return to what was.  

My HOPE is we will not hesitate to step into that unknown and create something new, something built on a HOPE for something better for our children.  

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