Last week, I had the privilege of teaching an ELA Summer Institute for graduate students at Molloy College. During the four days, we engaged in discourse on student-centered learning, created an interactive digital notebook, and filled it with wonderings. Words became our tool to power up conversations and activate new pathways to learning.
I take the time now to reflect on the power of words, the foundation of conversations, the conduits for our actions. They can be inspirational or destructive. They can lead to bonding with others or entanglements. Words are the superpower of educators. With positivity, they encourage students to collaborate, think critically, and ultimately to create as learners.
An early morning Twitter conversation among global friends inspired me to reflect upon an important quote from an inspirational leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. 'With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair the stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." In a post that I wrote last year, I used MLK's words as a call to action question. "Are we ready to hold the stone of hope in our hands, open the doors to positive discourse, unite as a brotherhood of peace, and never lose infinite hope?" I revisit this question again considering the timely events in history.
As educators, are we ready to have courageous conversations? My class discussed this topic last week as their call to action. It is my thinking that words should be used to promote inspired thinking and create plans that encourage students to collaborate as a harmonious group of learners. We must listen intently to others and be mindful of the words we use to express our thoughts. Let's model this.
Are you ready to use words as your positive superpower?
Thank you Steve Kelley, for starting the conversation with a tweet this morning.
It's Slice of Life Tuesday, so I am joining the Two Writing Teachers' community of writers to exchange words that encourage positive conversations.