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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 11.3.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

“In the ordinary course of living, education is incidental, in schooling education is intentional.”

John Dewey

This week, part of my incidental education was connecting with a few of our past principals. I had texts and emailed with Mildred Phillips – San Diego Met and Jeff Petty – Highline. And then….

I got a text from Enrique Gonzalez, now retired from LAUSD and was the founding principal of the BPL - Frida Kahlo High School. Enrique is still a force to be reckoned with and active in his community. This week, he sent me a draft of The Sounds of Pomona, one of the things he’s working on. This video brings together the musicians of Pomona from the 50’s-70’s where he grew up. It is a wonderfully insightful video because through the stories of these musicians and their music you can see and feel the history of the community. When completed I feel The Sounds of Pomona can couple the generations in his community through music. For me, Enrique is showing us going deep into one thing is where the Mojo comes from.

“There are almost always unintended consequences in education: indeed they are often more significant than those that are intended.” Lawrence Cremin

I’m big on both incidental and intentional, not one over the other. Both can lead to significant unintended consequences. Today at our staff meeting when we broke up into Advisories instead of sticking to the two questions we were given, we drifted off topic to introduce ourselves to Crishell Johnson our newest staff member by telling her stories about ourselves that none of us knew about. In this case, I’m glad we digressed. It was a great session of unintended consequences.

Happy Halloween!

I’m always up for a new title for the next book. This week I came across – Why You Don’t Need to Rake Leaves or as I dubbed it, Leaving to Leave. This article extolled the virtues of not raking your lawn. And, as the article points out, “Leaving leaves is not a one-size-fits-all solution.” Who knew leaving leaves could sound so much like solutions to getting away from a standard-based approach to education?

This Halloween, I conducted yet another failed experiment. For Halloween treats I went out and bought boxes of raisins and packets of M & M’s. I went over to friends for Halloween so I put them all in a pumpkin on the doorstep for the Trick or Treaters. When I returned this is what I found.

I’m not giving up but I guess I’ll have to do a lot more work with BPLiving on this one. It was a good laugh but it showed me how much work needs to be done and perhaps how to do it.


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