being oddly buoyant

NOW on oddly buoyant: 

In a nutshell, I remain optimistic and hopeful regarding the work we do in public education, often in spite of education’s acknowledged penchant for “change” (whether you side with the “change is good and necessary” growth mindset crowd, or with “tsk, change for change’s sake” naysayer’s rodeo) and in spite of extenuating circumstances that could be considered demoralizing, discouraging, annoying and/or just plain hard.

In the hiatus of my self-publication, I have been dipping into the education discussion on twitter but find at this time that I have more to say than a series of 140 characters can contain. As I transition into a new role in my current school district, I have more thinking to process than I can do on my own or via a tweet.

All perspectives published here MUST be considered two things:

1) purely my own. This is my space for thinking and learning on education related topics.

2) a work in progress. I reserve the right to change my thinking, synthesize, evolve and to make mistakes. Respectful dialogue on these topics is welcome.

PREVIOUSLY on oddly buoyant: below you will find the original impetus and philosophy for when I began blogging and created oddly buoyant, in 2009. I am building on it. The title “oddly buoyant” was borrowed from Twilight (yes, that Twilight), as my work at the time as an Instructional Coach in Literacy (and Numeracy) and my own simultaneous recreational reading of the Twilight Saga caused a sort of literacy supernova in me and I had to write about it. 

This is my philosophy on reading:

Real reading is making sense of text.  Making sense of it in a way that matters.  To ourselves, the reader.  Think of yourself as a reader.  When you make sense of a text that does not matter to you in any way, the words and meaning may slip through your mind like water through the fingers of your cupped hand, like they do mine.  I read it, I understand it, and it’s gone.  An indifferent shrug of information.  If there is no place for the meaning of the text in ourselves, we don’t really hang on to it.  Real reading is making sense that sticks.  It bonds the text to our own minds, spirits and souls and forges something new.  A new you, a new perspective to bring to bear on life, a new awareness.  We read, and read and read, in search, almost, for these texts that will stick and matter.  The process of reading is enjoyable, so we continue to pursue the story and the activity and rejoice when we find a text that makes us sing.  I can think of no other reason to explain how I enjoy reading Maeve Binchy novels, yet I cannot distinguish one from the other and cannot speak to how they essentially matter to me.  I enjoyed them, then I closed the cover and picked up a different book, still with hope in my heart.  Reading for enjoyment holds the place of real reading that sticks, like a zero holds the place for a quantity that does not yet apply.  This is the journey of real reading.

What matters to me may not be the same as what matters to you.  Maeve Binchy may define and explain your very existence.  Robert Ludlum may illuminate your very core beliefs about how the world works.  Not so much, for me. This is the beauty of reading, and the beauty of a society of individuals.  This is also the beauty of the comprehension strategies our brains employ to make sense of texts, that allow and demand that we each bring ourselves forward to meet the text and judge compatibility and influence.  I am not a researcher or writer that has worked intimately with the data and research behind these ideas.  I merely apply them.  I am merely willing now to read metacognitively, out loud, so to speak, to examine what matters to me as I read to make it real or not, what wholes or peices of the whole stick or wash away.

Join me on my journey.  Jump in, if you wish.  Journey on your ownOnly know that everything and anything I say is subject to change, revision, expansion and deletion.  It’s a journey, I’m no expert.  All I know is that I feel oddly buoyant about it all.

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