An Open Letter to Mrs. Chan

Dear Siobhan,

Happy Monday! I was thinking of you this morning when I was thinking about teaching, which is something that often happens.

When you transitioned to a new school this spring and I attempted to write you a farewell note, I struggled to find a charming, inspiring duo that I could compare our partnership to. Leslie and Anne wasn’t quite right, but the teamwork shown by Ben and Chris seemed a little more accurate. (I can’t WAIT to watch Parks & Rec with you and talk about how the episodes relate to the world of education)

That made me think about other partners who share their public conversations, like Hank and John Green (did you know Hank Green led the Lizzy Bennett Diaries series on YouTube?), or Mr. Schu and Mr. Sharp, or Steven Colbert and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Actually, let’s pause and watch what I consider to be one of the best conversations ever captured on video.

This fall, I contacted Jose Vilson and asked him if I could visit and be a fly on a wall in his classroom — I just wanted to observe and learn from him. I lost my nerve because I’m working on being less afraid of saying or doing something ignorant or insulting, but I hope to be able to be in touch with him this spring. But my desire to peep in on Jose’s class (or Evin or Kristin or Molly or Cheryl) got me missing creeping on you like a creepy creeper.

I’ve been thinking about how one of us would always pop in to the other’s room to show them something neat or ask a question or share a brilliant realization. And how even when back in the day I was convinced that I was suuuuuuper irritating to you, I’d try to strain my ears to hear what was going on across the hall in your world. That’s something I’ve really missed this year. I miss puzzling out difficult situations, regrouping and figuring out what to do better next time, and building off each others’ excitement. As I’ve been pondering Teachers Who Game and spending more time online, I’ve been thinking of how we could use this technology to help improve our educational practices for our students, our colleagues, and folks trying to understand the education system?

If, like I said, *I* really wish I could spend time as a fly on the wall in Jose’s class, mebbe making our conversations public could be interesting or helpful for not just us, but also for other friends and educators? It’d be a way to show how we “authentically” do think alouds or close reads? And it could cast some light on the processing that goes on in designing rigorous, relevant instruction?

Anyway, you know I’m really good at starting something and then dropping the ball, so I’d appreciate your insights.

ALSO. When I was on YouTube looking up the Colbert/Tyson video above, I rediscovered this, the mathiest movie trailer I’ve seen in a very long time. (I’m having Toby take us to go see it on Christmas!!!)

Also, that trailer was kind of intense so I’m going to conclude with the best Christmas movie ever made hands down.


P.S. Next time I write, I’m supes excited to talk about –> this piece <– that has consumed my brain for the past few months.

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