Dream Home #sol19

For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol19) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.
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Dream Home #sol19

March 19, 2019

Perhaps we started talking about our dream house when we moved out East. Maybe it was before that.  It could have been when we actually build our “dream house” years ago.  I’m not sure.  Many of Saturday afternoon, over cocktails, on vacation, random morning talks have been not so much what a dream house might be, but where.

The talk has been getting a little more serious in recent years.  Vacationing in places we might move when we retire.  Thinking about real estate and bedrooms, pools and porches.  Never actually getting to the place where we did something about it.   We were looking, but not looking.

Then I read an article about a location that is said to be the next up and coming place.  I looked up real estate in this location. A great deal was rough looking, not quite where I thought I wanted to live…  For the first time,  I said aloud… maybe we should buy somewhere before we actually want to leave here.

This statement shifted our thinking slightly.  We are nowhere near buying a second house.  However,  I think we are in a place where we are going to explore with more purpose.  Try a few places on for size.  Perhaps plan.

Considering these ideas on my commute today, the thought occurred to me that this might be like changing curriculum. As I sat in our professional development today, I thought we could have stayed on the sidelines waiting for our ‘dream house’ to come to us, but we took on a ‘fixer upper’ two and three years ago before we quite knew what we were doing.  Instead of saying, this current house suits us just fine, we jumped in on an opportunity and began renovations.  Like some other renovations, these can be painful.

Renovating all the moving pieces at once is painful.  Teachers need training and time to learn a new curriculum stance.  Students do not have the foundational skills that some lessons, activities, and units presuppose.  Their teachers are back to the drawing board, building a scaffold from prior years’ curriculums not taught fully yet.  We don’t have all the materials that would make this build seem optimal.

This is the time for a barn raising.  All hands on deck.  We teach these folks some things who talk it over with others who try it with a few more.  Those many say to the readers and writers, let’s give this a go.

I hope this house of literacy will be fairly close to completion before the two of us actually move to that retirement dream house.  The learning community is not tearing down the walls anymore.  Now we are rebuilding.  All the supports are going to be stronger for the personal care everyone is taking.

Each year we’ve moved forward, mucked around, had some success.  It might be a few more years until we are completely there.  Being the pioneers that we are, we moved in before it was ‘move-in’ ready.  We’re living in ‘construction dust’…

10 thoughts on “Dream Home #sol19

  1. I really like this analogy. I’ve been working on a piece trying to find a perfect analogy… and you have definitely done that here. I especially like ‘we moved in before it was ‘move in’ ready’… don’t we do this so often in education?!

  2. Rebuilding is what I really liked about your post. Rebuilding our literacy lives and actual homes. Love how your examples fit together so seamlessly.

  3. Your post transitions from your thoughts about a change to a retirement house to a change of curriculum beautifully. The word “renovations” works well, as it implies a makeover of what exists already. Love this comparison! Thank you!

  4. Your metaphors work beautifully. We, too, moved into a fixer-upper that we used to pass every day and say, “Boy, I Iove that property.” Doing all the work ourselves (pretty much), people comment on how beautiful it is. Our response, “It’s getting there!” It’s the journey.

  5. I just loved reading this – actually, I was not expecting the shift to a literacy house, so I was quite surprised and delighted! A great analogy. I love the description and the idea of rebuilding. It is a powerful piece and a reminder that we are always renovating as the faces in our classrooms change each year as well as the technology, expertise, and books and materials we have at our disposal.

  6. I’m in the middle of a garage reno that has taken more time that I thought possible, but as it’s coming to an end, I’m so proud of the work we’ve done and ready to enjoy an organized space! Good luck on find the “just-right” place for your future retirement!

  7. I wasn’t expecting the connection to literacy either…I wanted to hear more about your possible retirement locations! But the connection to literacy was great. I like that you moves in before ready- there is something to be said for willing to get messy.

  8. What a great analogy! The smooth transition to literacy was brilliant and true! It’s great to think about it that way because it gives us language to use with colleagues when it happens to us. Transition as renovation – fabulous! Keep us posted as you explore your future homes! Thanks for sharing!

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