Delight 10: Dad’s Emails

My Dad is 88. He is amazing in many respects. He’s healthy, loves life and is a joy to be around. He’s also a great learner. He has learned so many skills in technology from a digital camera to a laptop and more recently an iPhone. All of these things he’s embraced after the age of 70. He calls me weekly with some kind of technical issue he’s trying to resolve. He sees me using an app and wants to know what it is.

I have a great story I’ve told occasionally in my talks but what brings me delight is his emails. No punctuation and no sense of breaks. Just a run-on stream of consciousness.

Dean

aunt della died today she was 92 oh well tomorrow Ill go strawberry picking shot an 86 yesterday it was a really warm day see you soon

dad

That’s the best. … Read the rest

Delight 5: The Intentional, Unintentional Nap

This post was last updated on 6 months ago at 6 months ago

Occasionally I meet someone who doesn’t nap and who doesn’t find value or delight in them. I don’t really get these folks. Ever since my public declaration of naps, (I have no way to prove this but I take credit for the #napchat hashtag), people continue to send me research and findings around the merits of naps. I don’t need convincing.

One of my favourite kinds of naps is on weekend afternoons while watching sports. Usually, it’s football or golf but golf is preferred mostly because the announcers talk quietly anyway. I like the idea of drifting off to sleep without trying or planning. That makes it feel like it’s more of a gift or a happy accident. While that can happen, I don’t want to leave such a delightful thing to chance. I want it to feel serendipitous but in reality, it’s totally planned although I work to make it seem like it just sort of happened.

Here’s how it’s done. You turn the volume down and wait for an opportune moment. With football, I like the 2nd quarter. If it’s golf, I start when

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Delight 4: Her Little Voice

The easy thing about my Delight Project is that I have the two cutest grandchildren ever. I could simply share a video or picture of them and know that it brings me delight and likely you too. The challenge is I have to be specific which makes it a bit harder. But make no mistake, I will be sharing my delights that feature my two babies.

Listening to toddlers grow their vocabulary might be the most precious thing I love about children. Mispronouncing words and improper grammar are cute. It’s always strange to think of the things that children do and know that we would be appalled or just feel sad for adults who portray these traits. Yet with children, observing this childish behaviour is truly delightful.

Harriet’s voice is enchanting. When she plays she morphs in and out of characters at a moment’s notice. From “I’m the Momma” to “Now I’m Peppa” to “Ina be Hay-it” (I’m going to be Harriet), she changes her voice and begins to use the posture and voice of her character. This soft voice of the Momma is my favourite. It’s soothing, comforting and slightly condescending. It’s the best. In this clip, she puts … Read the rest

And Now for Something Completely Different Part 2

Eight years ago I wrote this. Starting today, I’ll be on to something different as my time with Discovery Education comes to a close.

I recall eight years ago people questioning if I should leave a great job in a school district to give up a pension to work for a for-profit company that is certainly much less secure. I don’t regret it for a minute. It has been eight years full of joy and learning and so much more.

My duties were many and varied. I hated being asked “what do you do” as it didn’t fit in any box. When I said I helped build community, it usually required lengthy follow-up and context. The easiest thing to explain to people was that I did a lot of speaking. My rough estimates would suggest I presented at over 120 conferences and events to well over 50,000 people. But beyond that, I spent time in districts and classrooms supporting them in their daily work. I helped create content and even helped with sales. All these experiences have helped me understand the complexities and challenges of running a business as well as running a school district. I spent time with … Read the rest

Be Less Helpful or Be More Grandparent

Dan Meyer talked about “being less helpful” in his 2010 Ted Talk and has resonated with many since. Essentially the idea of allowing students to learn and struggle within interesting, useful problems. On the surface, this sounds simple but the reality is most of us, whether we’re teachers or parents or leaders of any kind often resort to providing answers, or highly structured supports in order to see children and learners succeed. In many respects, this is the greatest challenge we face as educators. 


While I don’t think I’ve ever written about it here (confession: I honestly have written much about anything lately) becoming a grandfather has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I’ve said many times since that if you can bypass the children part and go right to grandparenting, I would highly recommend that! While the benefits are many, one of them is that I have fresh eyes when it comes to how humans learn. As a parent, I probably missed much of this because of the overwhelming feeling of responsibility you have. As a grandparent, I reap all the benefits of parenting but very few of the challenges. 

This quote by Urie … Read the rest