When is it worth it to fly halfway across the state for a Saturday meeting? Up at 3:45am, driving before the sun has even begun to think about peeking over the horizon, at the airport waiting for a flight before my regular wake up time.
Arriving well before the meeting time–because airlines work on their schedules, not yours. Searching for coffee on a sleepy college campus, a futile exercise on a Saturday morning.
(Luckily a Philz was right off campus…a pour over experience to fuel the day to come.)
When is it worth it to meet face-to-face? Our hunch was right. We needed to be human, to be real, to not only see and hear one another, but to feel each other too. We were in need of an opportunity for a shared experience AND spaces for those small, informal conversations that build relationships and enhance the more public and formal interactions.
A network is a network when we are connected. Today’s long day that spanned hundreds of miles of travel for our group was definitely worth it.
I’m filled with information, inspiration, and hope…for the network, for the work, for the future. And I feel the warmth and comfort of relationships reinforced, bonds renewed, and the tingle that will lead to growth and new ideas.
And the cherry on the top? I was able to change to the earlier flight home!
I love questions! Not the one right answer kind of questions, but the kind that tickle your brain and keep you thinking in search of possibilities. The kind that operate right at the edge of confusion.
I love questions in my classroom and in my own learning. Some of my favorite questions are, “How do you know that?” “Why do you think that?” “What do you think?” and “What do you notice?” Sometimes a question as simple as, “What do you think?” can open up rich avenues of conversation.
I think the key to good questions is being interested in the answers. If you ask but really don’t want to know the answer, then you might as well not ask. Taking the time to listen is key to the value of questions.
As I was facilitating student-parent-teacher conferences today, I heard some parents who use questions in powerful ways with their children. I loved the mom who explained how she responds to her son’s questions about spelling with, “How do you think it’s spelled?” and then engages in a conversation about what the child understands about the spelling of the word. The parents who ask genuine questions and listen for their child’s response create opportunities for learning.
Figuring out how to ask questions that you are curious about…those right at the point of your own confusion…can be a catalyst for your own learning. I love when students ask the question that suddenly gives me insight and clarity into my own teaching and learning. And I know when I can actually verbalize what is confusing me, and ask the question, that I will make progress in my learning.
Sometimes questions can involve some heavy lifting…figuring out what is confusing, which questions to ask, and how to respond to the questions of others. I love this image I found on a utility box in Oakland, CA–be sure to bend and lift those questions with your legs, not your back!
I took the long way home from work today. It is also a scenic route with beautiful vistas of the ocean bathed in the early evening sun, signature Torrey Pines gracing the center planters, and stop signs at regular intervals instead of evening freeway rush hour traffic.
My photography this week, scaly is the prompt, has not been terribly inspired. I’ve been busy–too many meetings and not enough time to immerse myself in the projects that need attention, and require thoughtful time to get them done.
So on my way home, on this scenic route, I made a short detour thinking I remembered a piece of public art that just might fit my scaly search. But the statue I remembered wasn’t there…so I drove a bit further and saw this house.
What? What are all these poles for? If you look closely you’ll see they have little flags on them. Is this construction of some sort? Installation art? A way to keep the birds away?
I think this photo would make a great writing prompt! What story do you see?