Frequently, I see a report on a television news broadcast, hear a story on the radio or read about a particular activity that causes me to wonder.  In fact, the word “hummm” comes to mind, meaning this requires more thought.  Perhaps you have similar feelings when exposed to something new, different or just interesting.

This feeling happens often for me when I consider information that has implications for my work in schools.  For example, I remember seeing a news story about young students struggling with reading who were provided the opportunity to read to dogs.  This story intrigued me and certainly got me to thinking “hummm” this could be really something to do in schools.  It also got me to question what is it about the interaction with an animal that encourages reading improvement.

I also recall the first time I heard about special education student participants in unified sports qualifying for varsity letters and that lead me to another “hummm” moment wondering how this could become a universal school recognition.  And, I remember the response from a former governor when I asked him what kind of school he wanted for his daughter and his response was “a school free of all ‘isms’ no sexism, no ageism, etc.” that got to again to have “hummm” moment wondering how many schools meeting those criteria exist.

As I think about these and many other “hummm” experiences it makes me wonder where I can find a corresponding set of strategies on “how” to implement, integrate and sustain these practices in schools.   For me it is not sufficient to experience a “hummm” moment as what I need is access to strategies on “the how.”

Over the years, I have been fortunate to have access to individuals, organizations and networks that can either share those strategies with me or know of someone who can.  These relationships have allowed me to consider, adopt, adapt and advocate for school-based strategies that have positive impacts on students that began with my feeling of “hummm.”

So, the next time you have a “hummm” moment enjoy the feeling of wonder and then consider who you know that can assist you to understand “how” you can integrate such a strategy into your daily efforts to motivate and educate students.

Terry Pickeral
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Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickeral, has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations, evaluation and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
Terry Pickeral
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