Sunday, April 24, 2016

Well-meaning films, and Climbing

Climbing, and thoughts on equity. 

the zealot approach 

The thing about education is that it should always be learning over schooling. But sometimes it's not. Like last week   Misa was hyped to share this film her teacher showed her class called, "Living on One Dollar." I won't explain it cause it's easy to search but Misa wanted us to watch it with her to basically affirm her own questions and feelings about the stereotypes and inherent discrimination and lack of cultural competencies throughout the film. You all can watch for yourself but the thing about education is if you don't give your students a purpose for a film like this and follow-up, the spectrum of interpretations never fully address the problems of inequities. Well-meaning films like "Living on One Dollar" - and teachers who show them, can make the mistake of embracing progressive politics without an intentional framework to guide even their own reflection in a healthy way that helps kids learn about inequities -- the very theme this film tried hard to illustrate. Anyway, that's what I love about my equity book group fam -- we are critically honest about the attitudes we have about our students - for better or for worse but intentionally for the sake of being better at what we do for the kids. 

On the beautifully busy weekend front I went bouldering with Stacey and it was so fun. Governor Dodge is spring-time brilliant, especially in the early morning like at 6:30am. We did Grounded for Life among the other warm-ups in the area. My goal is to get this mom-of-two-preschoolers-toddler out on real rock regularly this season.  Hope y'all are getting some sun and nature! 

The 'ol Zealot pad
Warming up

Getting grounded 

strong mom

setting it up

If you're on snapchat, it's my new fun thing. I posted my first story so if you wanna see our before-climbing shenanigans, catch me at veranaputi. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016


The Midwest finally got respite with a stunning weekend of blue skies and warm temps. This change in seasons signals a familiar student request that shouldn't be so difficult to fulfill, or surprising that they'd request it, but still, It's one I often forget.

They just want to go outside - learn outside, read outside, sit and talk outside, play outside. 

Mirroring my daily experiences, they are inside from 7:30 until 2:47pm. They're under bright lights sitting in uncomfortably creaky desks, and expected to be on just as I expect myself to be under the same conditions. How unhealthy is that. School classrooms can really suck!

I admit I don't have any resolve or plans to change this relentless indoor schooling right away.  But I will solicit student input, perhaps some co-planning and building curriculum with them in order to get this learning scenery right - that much I can do in the next few weeks. 

I'm hard-pressed not to transfer my personal values about nature and getting outside. The family life was good and full this weekend with a little bit of everything - Happy Hour, theater and ice cream, climbing and a run with Brad in Steinke Basin at Devils Lake, topped off with another early morning long, fast trail run with Misa. Stay active and stay healthy everyone!