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Pausing with Purpose

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

There is a lot of pressure to push ahead at all costs. Sometimes pausing

lets us make greater leaps forward.

Making a Mark

This is the first photo of humans, taken in 1838 on a busy street in Paris.

Busy? All that's visible are buildings and two humans, captured on the sidewalk in the lower left corner. No city traffic.

That's because it's a daguerreotype, one of the earliest photo technologies. It required about 10 minutes of exposure to capture the image, and everything moved too fast to be captured on film.

Except for those people shining shoes, and getting shoes shined.

I like this photo because it reminds me that sometimes pausing amid the hustle and bustle in life is one of the best ways to make your mark.

Pauses with Purpose

I have been working over the summer to facilitate workshops on equity and culturally sustaining pedagogy for local educators. In many school environments, the push to make up for learning that was delayed during the pandemic is strong. We want to forget the disruptions, return to 'normal' routines, and put our familiar rhythms in high gear.

But we learned during the last two years that content is not king. Forging relationships with students, building trust, and showing compassion supports learning and growth in ways that study guides cannot. The pandemic also revealed that the 'normal' we were used to was full of inequities that prevented all our students from thriving.

Before moving back to 'normal', let's pause.

Pausing to get to know students before jumping into content. Pausing to reflect on our own cultural frameworks to better understand the assumptions we bring to the classroom. Pausing to seek feedback to improve our practice. Pausing to identify and dismantle the inequitable systems that have marginalized students in our schools.

There can be a lot of pressure to go, go, go. But taking time to reflect and pause can help you make a more thoughtful, intentional, and informed move forward.

That is how we can learn, and teach, and connect--and make our mark in a positive way.

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