1. Vincent Day

    Great post, pal. It’s the personable nature that makes this such a great blog. Educational insight is great—but the glimpse into you as a person is the “differentiator.” (is that a word lol). At any rate, my favorite posts have been those that talk about your dad.

  2. I could not agree more that there is so much to be learnt from such situations, whether it simply be realising that a child in the classroom may well be going through the same hollowing experience. With the recent passing of my own mother, it has definitely given me a different perspective on things. Firstly, it has taught me that denying something doesn’t serve anyone any good (http://readingwritingresponding.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/denial-never-worked-for-no-one.html), and secondly, that it is so easy to miss the moment by not being ready for it (http://readingwritingresponding.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/celebrating-other-voices-in-moment.html).

  3. Leslie Whittington

    So good. And this is why when people meet you, they think you are old friends. 🙂 You are honest and open. It is also what builds trust and relationship. Those are two of the most important things to posess in a classroom or a school.
    I just posted something similar that may resonate – if you get a chance take a look. lwhittington.com

  4. Lisa Noble

    This is a valuable piece of the puzzle I think. I try, as much as I can, to teach the whole kids in my classroom, to know what’s going on, to know who’s tired ’cause they’re in hockey playoffs, or prepping for a dance recital, or visiting a sick family member, or babysitting for too many siblings; it makes sense to me that I share what’s going on with me, with my students, and with my colleagues (f2f and virtual). It’s that old idea of joy and sorrow shared – we are better for it, either way. Thanks for this, it reinforces my ideas on building community.

  5. Catherine Luke

    Hi George,

    I echo your feelings 100% (I feel as though I could have written this exact post – minus the dogs!). My dad died last August, and my whole world has changed – as you say, how can it not. I, too, have tweeted less, and blogged less (if blogging less was even possible for me). A very good friend recently pointed out that as I think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and self actualization, I have, in fact, missed some key needs (and lower on Maslow’s hierarchy than self actualization) – and that those needs are far more likely to give me the long term joy I am seeking. Something that has caused me great pause in the last few days…

    For what it’s worth, this is the first time I have ever posted a comment on a blog (or spoken about my dad’s death on social media) – but did so today because, for me, these are the stories that matter and wanted to share that with you. (I have thought about closing my blog because while education is “who I am”, it is not what I want to blog about – I want to blog about life, as you did here, but feel as though it is too personal, or worse lacking “value”. But really, as you say, all life (and the experiences we have) is educational, is it not?)

    To steal a line from Rita Pierson, my dad was “my champion” – to have lost that unconditional support is something I can not talk about without becoming inconsolably sad. I believe that life is a journey, and now it is our responsible to champion the young people in our lives (and some old ones, too!). I know you have nieces and nephews, as do I – so I think it’s our time, to be for them, what our dads were for us – a passing of the torch, so to speak.

    My wish for you is to make it through each day finding joy – however small, and know that our lives are better because of the amazing men we were so lucky enough to call ‘dad’.


  6. Marlina Oliveira

    Hi George,
    Thanks for your heartfelt and honest piece. I too lost a parent, in my case, my mom over two years ago, and a day does not go by that she isn’t in my thoughts, my words and my actions. When my mom passed, I felt that her death was my rebirth. It gave me the opportunity to put the craziness of life into perspective, spending more time focussing on my personal and spiritual growth. It is in this journey of growing as a person, that you can give back more to others, in all aspects of life. Like Vincent, I enjoy all your posts, particularly those you write about your dad, as they add richness to our work together.

  7. A Morning Grouch

    Better time with less people. The key to centering and focusing on what’s important. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to surround yourself with the right people, though.

  8. Christopher Smeaton

    When isn’t “educational space” about personal experiences? Education isn’t about real life, it is real ife! Part of effective leadership is the ability to be vulnerable and your writing and your speaking illustrate that well. Don’t ever quit telling your personal story…it is education!

  9. Elisa Carlson

    We are whole people and compartmentalizing our professional and personal journey is not always a good thing. Having also recently experienced the passing of my father (in Dec), and then my mother (in Feb), I find that words are no longer easy to come by. For those of us that can not find the language to express our grief, it is helpful to read the words of others. Thank you for being human and sharing your story.

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