Dreaming of Connection: Woven into We

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. 
We shall get there some day.” 
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


problems. big and heavy. strewn across my path. i strained to move them.
we might pass each other at the copier.
you in your problem bubble and i in mine.
we would shuffle off
with worksheets piled high, like lollipops for toddlers on long car rides, allowing us to eke out 5 minutes
to check email, slurp cold coffee, take that last deep sigh…
“ready to do battle” teacher face. ON.
“OK kids…”
in charge of everything and everyone. it hurt to the bone marrow.
do not dream…do not. dreaming is dangerous, it shows on the face: vulnerability.
scared to hurt, pieces of broken dreams lying shattered.
i sob and sob. heart swollen with buried dreams.
years pass.


each of you drift into focus. from dots in the distance to limbed smiling bodies to hug.
you and you and you, and…you.
people who dream with the lights on. who say things ALOUD that were only said in the secret part of my head.
connections pull me up. way up. ahh. i see far off and into the future.
i stretch to explain what i see. no need for yoga.
it hurts from growing. brain knitting all the time.
dreams. creep. in. like a silent cat. i don’t see them enter. but one day. i wake up and they are here.
LOUDLY singing and marching and dancing around.


a liquid landscape. always mixing, new reactions, layers of connection.
spider-silk strong. invisible and flexible. dream to dream, heart to heart.
we all walk in.
children of various ages and an adult person.
we sit in a circle and talk. steaming drinks in hand (we buy a kettle or two in this dream).
conversations sculpting our vision into plans.

we negotiate the implementation of the curriculum.

together in the open. this is not a course.

a course is set for you.
a course has winners and ribbons and a start gun. no more course.

(and why did i ever want you to run it, anyway? it had been run by 1000’s before you. ludicrous to run the course over and over again. divvy up the resources of life based on how closely you can stick to the course. predetermined by me. by my definition of what it should be. and the gun i held to your head did not hold bullets. no. instead it held failure and killed you just the same.)

how will this work for you? and how about for you? we decide what the words mean for us, within each of our lives.
we talk more. esoteric and grounded.  it is hard. it is honest. no games. no gaming. no badges. no worksheets.
we connect to each. to our own story. we connect, beyond cold cement walls, to warm beings who live in far off places. each of us creating their own unique pattern of connection. 
each, finds their story. the one we have been dying to tell the world. the one we did not know. until we connected to it. we find our way to tell it. building it out of eclectic materials.
there are many problems to be solved. children, know them, so much better than me. i will trust them to find and solve the big problems.
i bend to support. and then… i see students flex to support me. to support others. strands weave into a shape yet unknown.
warp and weft. over and under. over and under.
this is the start.
the start of my dream.
this will be our dream. i won’t own it this time.
a connected classroom. each has to create it. children and adult connected to something greater than themselves.
connected to the yin and yang of dreams: impossible and possible.

we sink in. deep. into the weave of we.

“This is not the wisdom of the crowd, but the wisdom of someone in the crowd. It’s not that the network itself is smart; it’s that the individuals get smarter because they’re connected to the network.”

― Steven Johnson

Originally posted on @Mr_Brett_Clark ‘ s Education Dreaming for the 12 Days of Dreaming


7 thoughts on “Dreaming of Connection: Woven into We

  1. Wow, I just have to respond to this. All I can think about is love, not of the curriculum (although that is certainly noble and important) but love of the student… the person in the room with me. Meeting them where they are at, inspiring and being inspired by them. Transformation. So many great thoughts… thanks for this poetry of the heart!

    • I think you got it right Richard, it has to come from the heart, the heart of one person to another. I think when I get distracted from this, I get off track and find myself dissatisfied with the resulting relationship and dynamic. Got to get back to the heart of the matter 🙂

  2. Carolyn, this is elegantly beautiful. Truly. When one transitions from teaching a subject to facilitating learning for students, then strong connections – person to person – can “myelenate” (did I spell that right?). Thank you for drawing my attention to your reflection. I was not expecting such poetry.

    • Hi Bo, I am thrilled that it resonated with you. I appreciate your comment and the mention in your blog post. What fabulous stool partners! I feel very honoured 🙂
      But even more thrilling and exhilarating is the tangible strengthening power of connection, co-thinking, and co-learning provided for me by my few exchanges with you. I love your reference to myelination (enables nerve cells to transmit information faster and allows for more complex brain processes) which just nails this power down to a tee! I am a sucker for metaphors and images of any sort that encapsulate what I am thinking and feeling.

      I am still pondering and ruminating on the lamp metaphor and I love when I have am mental problem I am wrestling with, so another gift.

  3. This is beautiful and made me cry. I am a mother of two teens and have started homeschooling (unschooling) my 15 year old daughter this year, because of the things you talk about in your post. She would not stand for the old way, and I am stretching to catch up with her and support her. You have beautifully expressed the feelings involved in this stretching and learning another way, learning to trust. Thank you, Audrey

    • Hi Audrey, your comment gives me a big “throat swell”. As a mom of a 16 year old daughter I am really struggling this year watching her love of learning being slowly but consistently sucked from her. The situation is complicated by the fact that I am a teacher at the same school as her. A huge part of the urgency I have begun to feel this year stems from my observations of her. I think to a large part I have ignored (or redirected) my confusion over her situation and invested it into trying to change my own practise. Not sure if that is the best solution, but at the moment it seems to be.
      I so appreciate your comment and love that you pulled out learning to trust as key, as that underlies so much of it; learning to trust yourself, learning to trust others are such key components to authentic learning.
      I wish you the best of luck in your journey with your 15 year old daughter.
      best to you,


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