I have been thinking a lot about community, trust and relationships lately and how they impact learning together. It dawned on me I had learned a few lessons from my grandparents.
When i was little my grandfather used to stash his pockets full of candy on a Sunday morning before heading to church. I wish it was for me (I may have sneaked one or two). He’d stand by the front door and use the candy as a way to entice the reluctant child, the coughing adult or the individual that just needed a little cheering up.
My grandmother was all about the food. She had her staple: pasta, tomato sauce and meatballs. She wouldn’t stop there though. If you weren’t digging the pasta, the nuts would come out. Then the cheetos followed by the cake. Whatever she could do to keep you at the table eating. My mom’s side was no different. She would put on the most elaborate spreads to entice groups to come together.
My memories of my grandfather (dad’s side this time) was always as a retired man. There was this bench outside the grocery store in the Queensway. Every day my grandfather would make his way down the block and meet his friends at the bench. They made their own piazza to meet and chat.
It may seem like the three stories above aren’t connected but as I have been thinking of community, more importantly how we build community I realized that there is always AN INVITE. Whether it was my poppy’s candy, my ma’s screams of mangia or my pa’s bench there was an invitation to engage in community.
I worry that sometimes in the routine of community, in the tweets and posts, I have forgotten the invitation to engage. It was that invitation that got me connected online, allowed me to meet great educators face to face, lead me to new learning opportunities. Someone always pulls (or pushes) you into a new community of practice. Sometime takes that risk or sacrifice to pull you in. So I’m left with the question of how am I inviting others to engage in learning together?
Time to go bake some cookies.
Do you agree? Can you remember any invitations that made the difference in your learning? Love to hear your thoughts!