Last week I had the pleasure to listen to author Cleo Wade speak. She wrote Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life and is an activist. This year I’m doing some thinking around creating and was surprised to hear her start talking about creating. My notes included these thoughts; creating is in our DNA, individuals have the capacity to create, and “creators create community”. My ears perked up even more because I knew I wanted to find some moments to reflect on community and share in this space.
She gave us a question to ponder, “Where have the ambitions of building community gone?” She urged us to think about the act of this question a sacred task. Other notes I jotted included
- communities give us opportunities to choose to unite
- communities bonds of spirit
- communities help us rise above our concerns
My students don’t get to choose to share a classroom with each other. Their class placements is done for them. I realized reflecting on the first thought, they do get to choose to unite with each other. I believe one of our roles as a teacher is to help our students make that choice in hopes of creating a spirit of cohesiveness. If we have a feeling of cohesiveness perhaps we can rise above our own concerns and make a difference for each other and beyond.
I would respond to Cleo’s question and ask her to look within classrooms for ambitions building communities. May our work help carry to spaces outside our schools and help people connect in person with others.