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This is my Dad and our little Kwokkie magpie. She is now 8 weeks old, talkative, learning all sorts of new skills and following my Dad around like he’s…Dad.

Here, my Dad is telling her to learn how to jump. This is the conversation:

Dad: “Come on, jump up! You need to learn how to jump, do you hear? If you don’t learn, you won’t develop any strength. Come on, try! Jump! Here’s my hand, have a go!”

I watched this video clip for the first time in April 2014, when I was scrabbling to find my feet in a new job, new city, new living conditions, new staff, and new teaching classes. This tiny snippet from home + my Dad made me teary and tender all at once. My Dad is the kindest person I know. He has a moral compass that can navigate any situation with compassion + clarity, he is unfailingly gentle, but he does not suffer fools. He gently + openly asks for what he thinks is reasonable and possible. He’s not afraid of struggle, and he has given myself and my brother this message over and over as a necessary ingredient of living a good life. The lesson he gives our little magpie is the exact same one he has given me all my life; to learn the skills, to try, to navigate, to fail, to try again, to develop…that’s the way to live a good life and to have what you need to live well.

He’s just far more articulate with our magpie than he has ever been with myself and my brother!

And this same gift of struggle and love combined is at the heart of what I hope to demonstrate and teach in the classroom. I hope that I dare to risk enough that I might be a good role model, that I never lose my love of life-long learning and asking “what if?”, and I hope that my words highlight struggle + courage + learning to be equally as important as the final outcome.

kwokkie magpie…8 weeks

December 31, 2015 , , , , ,

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