Dean Shareski has been someone who has continuously influenced my thinking as I have progressed in my career. Dean is someone who shares a lot about meaningful practice in the classroom, but it is humanistic side and focus on relationships so often in his posts and his tweets that have really pushed me forward. I am honoured to say that over the last little while, I have learned so much from Dean and have become friends with him.
After a fantastic visit with Dean and teachers in the Moose Jaw area, I was extremely sad to see this tweet from him:
Dean’s open sharing and reflection of the loss of another friend really inspired me to share a moment that was tough on me this last September when my own dog had passed away. Although it was an extremely tough day for myself, I look back and I am glad that I took the time to write and have the memory of my last day with my best friend. What I fondly look back at on that time was how SO many people were supportive of me during that time and would send me messages, checking up on me, making sure I was okay. In fact, because of so many “strangers” I was inspired to open my home to a new friend.
We often hear horror stories about the Internet and the negatives that come out of it. I know that if you look hard enough for something, you are bound to find it. What Dean has really inspired me to do, is see those amazing connections that we can create with one another, and see the humanity in other people. Previously as a technology integration coordinator, I did a lot of work making “stuff” using technology. Through people like Dean and many others, I have learned to use the medium to make meaningful connections. That has made all of the difference in myself as an educator, but hopefully more as a person.
I was then touched to see another tweet by Dean and how people reached out to his daughter, to comfort her in a tough time.
On a picture she had created based on her memories of her best friend, people reached out and shared kind words with her. It is when we reach out, and care for people across the world in a time of need, that I know the Internet can be so much more than what many see it for. We just need to look.
Thanks to Dean and his family, for reminding me to always try and be better during their tough time. My thoughts are with them.