Building Bridges- A new start and a reflection on ASCD

I started out wanting to revamp my blog so that it would address the idea of teaching as rocket science. And then I went into a slump and did a lot of soul-searching. Who am I to think I have anything to add to the conversation? What would blogging accomplish? And so I tucked away my aspirations.

But here I am again. Because there is so much to say. And Ralph Ellison’s words jumped off the page and there was the title, the idea I was looking for. Education is building bridges. The bridge between the art and science of teaching, between students and teachers, between teachers and families, between content areas and time periods. A bridge connects. And connections are powerful in the learning process.

The power of connection became much clearer to me over the last few days as I have been here at #ASCD14. So much learning. My brain is full. The weather has been beautiful. And downtown L.A.- well, it’s L.A. Connections came in so many ways. One of the most powerful being  meeting educators from all over the world. Today 2 educators from Palau came to my presentation. And I rode the bus each morning with a contingent of teachers from Jamaica. We come from different places, but we are connected through our love and passion for educating kids.

Connections came as people I met online,who have become friends, this weekend made time in their busy schedules because I had travelled cross country. My friend, Aly, drove in to downtown to have brunch and hang out at an eclectic bookstore. We are connected through a passion for books and reading and a love of education and kids. I value that connection. And I am grateful for a friend who makes time in a busy schedule to foster that connection we have and deepen it.

And then there is my friend, Cathy.We are connected through books and reading and a love of watching kids learn and grow. And we are connected because we are moms ourselves.  Cathy,who was only able to attend the conference for one day-the day I happened to be presenting- and who came to watch me present and support me. A connection that started on the thin thread of tweets and facebook statuses and has deepened to a connection that would elicit such a gift of time and support.

So, I’ll look to build bridges between thoughts and ideas, between research and practice, between the culture of my students and the culture of school. Building bridges takes time. You’ll find me here for a while. Building bridges.

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