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Thursday, June 16, 2016

One Love

The Starfish
An old man walked the beach at dawn. He noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left under the morning sun.
“But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the old man. How can your efforts make any difference?”

The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said. –Anonymous

Why I walk, 
Why I protest, 
Why I fight against the wind,
Why nobody is going to turn me around,
Because I am a Star Fish Teacher

Week one in Jamaica over. My teachers and our children worked hard. Like in the USA our plastic gold medals were a hit. It is a humbling experience to be able to work with Jamaican teachers and children. We built a community of learning rooted in love and caring for each other. We pushed children forward, but always with a deep sense of empathy and love. We fought for every letter, word, sentence, every paragraph, and every story. We walked a challenging path together. Everyone counts, everyone matters, and everyone learns. Including Dr. Turner, his teachers, and our children. Sam Sharpe Teachers College is a gracious host, nice air conditioned classrooms, cold water, and nice snacks. Kevin our security/facilities person breaks down and sets up our rooms every day, and make sure we have lots of cold water. He does this with a smile and real love in his heart. Everyone respects and loves Kevin. 
The best parts of my day here is seeing our children running to us, playing checkers, (these kids are good), Dr. Turner v the Jamaican kids word challenge, and debriefing with my teachers at the end of the night. There is a ton of learning going on at all levels. 
Just in case you want to know...our "Word Challenge" pits the children against me. Teachers write words on the board from a local graded work list. Ten points for every word children get, and 20 points for any missed words for the Mighty Dr. Turner. In the end they always win, but not without me puffing my chest up, and shouting at the sky no way not today. I love watching the children work together to get the words, and them shouting give up harder words teacher. It's all good here. 
Sometimes all I need is this work, this hope, and this place where teachers and children grow and learn together. Each night on the ride home I bow my head, and say thank you Lord for this beautiful day. Tell every fake Education Reformer ain't nobody gonna turn me around. 
One Love,

If you want to know what song I am listening to under this giant Jamaican's Bob Marley's "One Love" > <

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