Standing at the Waters Edge

Every summer for the past three years I head to see my parents. They live on the beautiful island of PEI where it seems hard NOT to find a long secluded beach to wander. It is always out first stop.

It seems silly but standing there at the waters edge, the waves crashing in one after the other, I felt peace. After three weeks of madness rushing between jobs and learning adventures with limited sleep I hadn’t really paused. As each wave came in, it seemed to pull back the haste and replace it with calm. Funny when those reminders will hit you. Its at the waters edge that I could hear Jack Miller, the prof for my last MEd course say:

What makes your soul sing?

A simple question as we chatted about mindfulness in education but the more I ponder it, the more I realize how essential it is. I can list what makes my heart sing: a photo walk, time by the water, a great story, a kids excitement when they have that aha moment, tinkering & making, even writing. I know that when I take time to do the above I can give more but yet I let the BUSY creep in. And maybe it isn’t about being busy but making sure the long list includes activities that refresh and do not drain. 

As a group of us have been reading the Empower book by AJ Juliani and John Spencer I’ve been thinking about this question in regards to empowering learners. What role does it play for us as educators? Are we more willing to share ownership when we are full? What if we asked learners the same question? If we tapped in to what made their souls sing would it change our relationships together?

It may not be as secluded or clean, but I have a waters edge at home too. I think for the year ahead I will set myself a regular reminder to step away and find some calm at the waters edge.

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