I’ll echo Carrie Ann’s shout out to the Save Our Schools activism. It was inspiring to listen to old heroes (Debbie Meier, Jonathan Kozol) and voices who were new to me (John Kuhn, Matt Damon, Jose Vilson). It was energizing to be around folks who are passionate about education and equity. I got a kick out of being interviewed by CNN (gotta work on my soundbites) and taking part in the planning and organizing workshops the next day.
I wish I had more patience or aptitude for the messy work of movement-building. (IDEA are the folks leading that charge.) My special ADD skill set makes me more apt to get lost in a maze of 1975 online boxscores than to build an infrastructure for systemic change.
Being a foster parent, though… As a distractable young grasshopper beginning my journey, it seems do-able. Here’s why:
- The day-to-day goal is straightforwardish: Try to provide a supportive, loving, safe, joy-filled environment today; try to provide a supportive, loving, safe, joy-filled environment tomorrow.
- There’s an immediate feedback loop. We should have a sense of when things are working and when they’re not.
- There are potential immediate rewards. We’re not going to make measurable progress on transforming public schools today, but Blitzen might, at any time, say (like our friend Amelia) “If there is a shark in this lake we’re kayaking, it’s probably swimming the other way, right?”
There were going to be more items on that list, but I can already see that this post will look embarrassingly naive moments after it’s published. If I learned nothing in MAPP class it’s that being a foster parent thrusts one into a world of uncertainty, frustration and messiness that would make the post-SOS-rally educator squabbles look freshly ironed laundry.
Botton line: There are lots of tasks in the world that I just can’t do. I can’t wait in a line, take direction, get a degree, organize my desk, blog every day, mingle at a party, turn in work when it’s due, make travel plans more than a week ahead of time or match my outfit without a spreadsheet. But I suspect that when you mix my good-natured goofiness with Carrie Ann’s thoughtfulness, insight, empathy and good judgement and the support of our spectacular Team o’ Backup Villagers, we can provide a pretty warm home for a small-to-medium-sized Wee.