Each post, each tweet, each comment contributed to the weaving together of a tapestry of voices from all the spaces of our lives: teachers, assistant principals, principals, central administrators, superintendents, higher education, parents, educational activists and, eventually the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Some might think this tapestry was started through the work of professional “weavers” from national associations. But, I know differently. The National Days of Blogging on October 17 and November 22 began with a couple of people who said, “Why not? What do we have to lose?” Tom Whitby first challenged us in”A Modest Blog Proposal” posted at My Island View. This resulted in 118 REBELSbloggers posting their ideas for positive ed reform on the wallwisher site constructed by Shelly Terrell. Erin MacKnight took all 118 posts and collated them into a linked set at his site. However, some of us wondered if anyone was listening, other than ourselves.
Ira Socol also put out a call to Blog for Real Ed Reform on November 22 at SpeEd Change and the word began to spread. Connections were made with the folks at AASA, VASCD and ASCD and they jumped on board to help promote November 22 as a National Day of Blogging for Real Ed Reform. Paula White offered the Cooperative Catalyst as a space to archive links. Tom Whitby, the PLN “posse” and many others joined in to publicize today’s event. A Google search last week showed ever-increasing attention on the web to the National Day of Blogging.
Beginning on November 21, bloggers from across the “Education Nation” began to write, post, and share their thoughts on what matters most to make a difference in our schools now and into the future. The pace of posts at the Cooperative Catalyst and SpeEdChange accelerated throughout the day. Tweets began flying to the media and the USDOE.
One person wrote to @EdPressSec, “From a teacher who doesn’t blog – please check out thoughts from @21stprincipal @justintarte @gcouros @coopmike48 #blog4reform.” In reflection tonight, this plea moved me as much as any post. 140 characters. The message? I don’t blog but listen, please.
I am struck that no superheroes made today happen. We didn’t even need just regular, run of the mill heroes to make today happen.Rather, today represents what it will take to transform our public schools from places that are mostly constructed for factory workers to spaces that are designed for contemporary learners- our children. It will take all of us leading together. It will take all of us working together.
Today, all we needed was shared leadership from committed educators who cared enough to pause, reflect, and put their passion on the line. No one received merit pay for today. No one told us we had to be present. We simply knew it was time to say, “we are here and we want a seat at the table.”
Seth Godin speaks to what it takes for a tribe to become a movement. Well, we may not be a movement yet, but today we became something greater than who we are as individuals. I like to think our voices were heard today; that there was someone in the forest to hear our dreams.
“ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one… “