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'Over the years people have said things that have really made me think. I enjoy remembering what was said, the people who said them and the circumstances and learn something new each time. I think it helps me think about what is important when I am confusing the trees for the wood and re-find my focus and need to remember a smile and a laugh with someone is what life is really about. Some quotes are very short - others you will have to scroll down.

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"Make sure you worst enemy doesn't live between your own two ears." From Laird Hamilton - thanks to John Reeves for this quote
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“Neither the prestige of your subjects and
The power of your instruments
Nor the extent of your planning
Can substitute for
The originality of your approach and
The keenness of your observation”

Hans Selye

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"The human brain is a stimulus response organ, but between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our ability to choose, and in that choice lies our freedom." Viktor Frankl.

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“How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.” 
― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

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What is a Jew? This works for me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCmHd_scHik

Hillels maxim has been with me since I first came across it as a child. Despite my lack of religion this has helped me make more sense of what was meant http://nihonshock.com/2009/11/the-many-ways-to-say-i/ but was very confusing because of the difficulties of translating language without a cultural concept. How come English with so many words has so few for important things like 'love' and 'i'?

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Not often I see a commercial that moves me.

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and this one seems to a surprise too - language and deep frames comes to mind

 

and this piece of poetry

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“What is the use of living, if it not be to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?” Winston Churchill (speech in Dundee, 1908) (Thanks to Paula Shore for this one)

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"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." Aristotle

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'Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.' Gandhi

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'I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it… We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.' C. Day Lewis The Poetic Image

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'Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life feeling it is stupid!' Albert Einstein

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'If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.' William James 1884.

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The heart has its reasons that Reason does not know — Blaise Pascal.
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'We know nothing but that we face each other in this place' Yeates. Thanks to Robyn for this one.

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“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Disraeli - from http://thinkexist.com/

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Bateson, G.  (1988) Mind and Nature: A necessary unity.  New York; Bantam.

“Whether Russell and Whitehead had any idea when they were working on Principia that the matter of their interest was vital to the life of human beings and other organisms, I do not know. Whitehead certainly knew that human beings could be amused and humor generated by kidding around with the types. But I doubt whether he ever made the step from enjoying this game to seeing that the game was nontrivial and would cast light on the whole of biology. The more general insight was – perhaps unconsciously – avoided rather than contemplate the nature of the human dilemmas that the insight would propose.

The mere fact of humor in human relations indicates that at least at this biological level, multiple typing is essential to human communication. In the absence of the distortions of logical typing humor would be unnecessary and perhaps could not exist.” (p. 124)

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, "It's no use to decide what's going to happen unless you have the courage of your convictions. Many a brilliant idea has been lost because the man who dreamed it lacked the spunk or the spine to put it across. It doesn't matter if you don't always hit the exact bulls-eye, the other rings in the targets score points, too."  A. P. Giannini Founder of the Bank of America.

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‘We must learn to feel addressed by a book, by the human being behind it, as if a person spoke directly to us. a good book or essay or poem is not primarily an object to be put to use, or an object of experience: it is the voice of You speaking to me, requiring a response’  (prologue p39) Buber Martin Translated by Kaufmann Walter 1970 I and Thou pub T&T, Clark, Edinburgh
 

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This really appealed to the the optimist in me

Dilbert.com

 

I wish I was a glow worm
A glow worm's never glum
How can you be unhappy
When the sun shines out yer bum?

Author unknown

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"gently put aside" Jack Whitehead circa 1st Nov 2011 in private conversation

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''The second principle of magic...things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed'. Sir James Frazer - 

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Every morning when I wake up, I feel an exquisite sense of joy – the joy of being Salvador Dali. And I ask myself, in a sort of rapture, what wonderful thing will he create today, this Salvador Dali. And as every day passes, I find it harder and harder to understand how other people can possibly bear to exist without being Salvador Dali.
Dali, S. (1964) Dali - Diary of a Genius. New York; Prentice Hall Press.
 
Every morning upon awakening I experience a supreme pleasure; that of being Salvador Dali…. And I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing  will be do today, this Salvador Dali.
Modesty is not exactly my speciality. (Levi, 2000, p. 121)
Levi, B. (2000) The Dali Universe. London; The Stratton Foundation.

 

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Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.  ~Buddha

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The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

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5 way to make kids smarter - not so sure about their explanations but what they are suggesting seems like a good idea anyway. These are put into my words - Start the day at a reasonable hour, provide windows onto the world, make sure people can hear what instruction easily, check out that you give positive rather than inadevetantly negative messages about themselves and their ability to learn, get some exercise and give people a brain break - what did they use to say about all work and no play?!

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Thanks to Pete Mellet for this

Patti Lather (1999) describes the sort of approach I intend taking when she says that a review can exemplify a non-mastery approach:

 “... a learning that can tolerate its own failure of knowledge and the detour of not understanding.” (p.4)

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I am reading the BERA review 1999 - 2000 that Peter Mellett wrote and this has really resonated

Patti Lather (1999) describes the sort of approach I intend taking when she says that a review can exemplify a non-mastery approach:

 “... a learning that can tolerate its own failure of knowledge and the detour of not understanding.” (p.4)

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'Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within' Stephen Jay Gould.
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"The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases." - Jon Bentley and Doug McIlroy

 

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"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about." - Einstein
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'To understand what a real essay is, we have to reach back into history again, though this time not so far. To Michel de Montaigne, who in 1580 published a book of what he called "essais." He was doing something quite different from what lawyers do, and the difference is embodied in the name. Essayer is the French verb meaning "to try" and an essai is an attempt. An essay is something you write to try to figure something out.

Figure out what? You don't know yet. And so you can't begin with a thesis, because you don't have one, and may never have one. An essay doesn't begin with a statement, but with a question. In a real essay, you don't take a position and defend it. You notice a door that's ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what's inside.

If all you want to do is figure things out, why do you need to write anything, though? Why not just sit and think? Well, there precisely is Montaigne's great discovery. Expressing ideas helps to form them. Indeed, helps is far too weak a word. Most of what ends up in my essays I only thought of when I sat down to write them. That's why I write them.

In the things you write in school you are, in theory, merely explaining yourself to the reader. In a real essay you're writing for yourself. You're thinking out loud.'
 
Paul Graham, The age of the essay. 2004 (Thanks to Kate Kemp for this)

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Wellbeing is defined as 'A state in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community' (World Health Organisation).
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Mandela, N. R. (2010) Conversations with Myself. London; Macmillan.
 
'... the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings. In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one's social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education. These are, of course, important in measuring one's success in material matters and it is perfectly understandable if many people exert themselves mainly to achieve all these. But internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one's development as a human being. Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others - qualities which are within easy reach of every soul - are the foundation of one's spiritual life. Development in matters of this nature is inconceivable without serious introspection, without knowing yourself, your weaknesses and mistakes. At least, if for nothing else, the cell gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct, to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you...'

 

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"If you've come to help me, then I don't need to your help. But if  you've come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." Aboriginal social worker Lilla Watson. Thanks to Ernie Stringer for the quote.

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"We do the best we know how, and when we know better, we do better." Quote attributed to Maya Angelou, poet Thanks to Pip Bruce Ferguson for the quote

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Extract from William Wordsworth poem 'Tintern Abbey'

 

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: -- feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: -- that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, --
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

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To do easily what is difficult for others is the mark of talent. To do what is impossible for talent is the mark of genius. (Henri Frederic Amiel)
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'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed
it’ s the only thing that ever has' (Margaret Mead).

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'Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.' from the song, Some Mistakes, by Brad Paisley

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“One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.” (Jean-Paul Satre)

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 "Life is not  waiting for the storms to pass...it is learning to  dance in the rain!"   - anon
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'We trained hard ... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.' Wrongly attributed to-- Petronius Arbiter, 210 B.C.
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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt, "Man In The Arena" Speech Given April 23, 1910

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'I have always supposed that the whole thing (i.e. life) is a bit of a cosmic joke so I stagger on with a smile on my face.' Pete Mellett 16th Nov 2006 in a personal email

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"There is nothing more difficult and dangerous to undertake, nor more doubtful of success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things; because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old order, and only lukewarm support from those who would do well under the new. This coolness reflects a fear of the old guard, who have tradition on their side, and also people's general suspicion of unfamiliar innovations." (Machiavelli, The Prince, quoted in Claxton, G. (2008) What's the Point of School? Oxford; Oneworld Publications. p.187)

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‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lies our growth and our happiness.’ (Covey 2004 p. 43). 

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"To conduct a conversation requires first of all that the partners to it do not talk at cross purposes. Hence its necessary structure is that of question and answer. The first condition of the art of conversation is to ensure that the other person is with us…. To conduct a conversation…. requires that one does not try to out-argue the other person, but that one really considers the weight of the other's opinion. Hence it is an art of testing. But the art of testing is the art of questioning. For we have seen that to question means to lay open, to place in the open. As against the solidity of opinions, questioning makes the object and all its possibilities fluid. A person who possesses the 'art' of questioning is a person who is able to prevent the suppression of questions by the dominant opinion.... Thus the meaning of a sentence is relative to the question to which it is a reply, i.e. it necessarily goes beyond what is said in it. The logic of the human sciences is, then, as appears from what we have said a logic of the question.  Despite Plato we are not very ready for such a logic." (pp. 330-333) Gadamer, H., (1975), ‘Truth and Method’, Sheed and Ward, London.

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W. Gordon, ‘the ultimate solutions to problems are rational; the process of finding them is not.’

W. H. H. Gordon. US creativity guru. Howard Gossage. US advertising executive. http://creatingminds.org/quoters/quoters_g.htm

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'My present philosophy is that what does change is my perception. As I look back over my life and that of others I feel that when things haven't been good it has been a perception only and not necessarily a reality. I no longer need to be anything whether that is recognised, believed, understood, congratulated or content but I do need to appreciate all feelings I and others have and the lessons from those moments- however with that state of mind can come a certain arrogance I believe that I do need to be wary of!!!' - email from Paula Shore (teacher) 26th July 2008
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Daisaku Ikeda (2004) A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays. Kuala Lumpar;
Soka Gakkai Malaysia.

"Everyone has some kind of gift. Being talented does not mean just being a good musician, writer or athlete. There are many kinds of talent. You may be a great conversationalist, or make friends easily, or be able to put others at ease. Or you may have a gift for telling jokes, selling things or living economically. You may be punctual, patient, reliable, kind or optimistic. Or you may love taking on new challenges, be strongly committed to helping others, or have an ability to bring them joy. Without doubt, you possess your special jewel, your own unique talent. In the same way, each of us has a mission that only we can fulfil. That mission will not be found somewhere far away, in doing something special or extraordinary. Even those people who seem to have led great lives have really only done what they felt they had to do in order to truly be themselves.

We realize our purpose in life by doing our very best where we are right at this moment, by thinking about what we can do to improve the lives of those right around us." (2004, p. 4)

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 'The human mind treats a new idea the way a body treats a strange problem it rejects it.' Sir Peter Medawar - now ain't that the truth!

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A point made by Eric Idle with pleasure on the Care2.com site. This is one of their cards and with the legend 'Smiles are contagious. Start an epidemic. With over 25,000 free Care2 eCards, you can brighten anyone's day.'  I dont know who they are but seems like a nice thing to want to do. You might like to send some of their cards to add to the smile epidemic.

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I'm smiling at your 'being the author of your own stress' . I don't know why you bother when there are so many people in the world who are willing to do it for you!! Jack Whitehead 21st Oct 07

You offer acceptance of me for what I am and push at the boundaries of what I could become. You accept ideas, puzzlement and confusion from me as part of a process of me coming to understand but the understanding reached seems always a new understanding for us both. I think I've seen our work as collaborative parallelism - which was part of the correspondence between Erica Holley and Jack Whitehead before 23rd Jan 05. Says so much for me about what it is to be an amazing educator.

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This story by Jane Spiro 'Eye and the Fellow-traveller' is beautiful and I really dont want to have to keep searching for it. Again a beautiful description of an amazing educator.

'Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of becoming.' Goethe 17th Century German playwright My thanks to Jane Hill for this one.

 “(Auden) was always moving on to the next task, suffering failure sometimes, and aware of a widespread rejection of his later work.  He had a private, even secret, generosity to match the public generosity, the copiousness of his achievement.  An enviable gift, then, although not always an enviable life – unless we say that in some cases the gift is indeed the life, and that the suffering is all part of the gift.” (The Guardian Review, 3 February 2007) My thanks to Barry Hymer for this.

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When People are asking you to quantify your impact unreasonably you make unreasonable judgments (Pauline Miles 31st March 2007)

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 The major cultural dichotomy affecting educational provision for the gifted and talented is between the largely Eastern perception - ‘all children have gifted potential’ - and the largely Western one - ‘only some children have gifted potential’.

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'The human spirit survives most attempts to be categorised, selected and treated in accord - for good or ill.' Joan Freeman 2006

 Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each. Plato

While there is a mystery about the source of life, I feel the flow of a life affirming energy that connects me with the cosmos and everything in it. and as I let my own light shine, I consciously invite other people to do the same... (Jack Whitehead emailed 3rd Dec 2006)

When there are enough vampires around we could do without the cuckoos, but we know that real life means meeting both!! (Jack Whitehead 10th Feb 2007)

Great educators hold their space in service to others by the lived expression of their values. (Jack Whitehead 11th Feb 2007)

Giftedness is not a statement of being. At its best, it’s a description of what one can do – not an explanation of what one is.  ( Barry Hymer 2003 Four Weddings and a Funeral)

Gifted and talented students have, we believe, a right to something qualitatively special now. And so do their peers, just in case they’re gifted and talented too but don’t yet know it. (Barry Hymer – his book)

 
"When a child does something correctly, she's had a chance to practise something.  When she makes a mistake, she has a chance to learn something."  (Barry Hymer email
11th Feb 2007)
 
“What drives us in our society to pin children to their measured competencies, like so many dried and mounted butterflies?  Let’s enjoy their colours, not measure them.  Let’s not pin them down – let’s watch them in flight. (Barry Hymer email
11th Feb 2007)

'We dont have the luxury to be that angry and creative of hurt' Eden Charles 27th Nov 2006, at Jack Whitehead's Monday Conversation, BathUniversity

The shortest distance between people is a smile a Chinese saying from Moira Laidlaw Dec 06

‘Perhaps learning is a journey we undertake our whole lives, by realising the quality of the experiences on the journey and not the results, we learn more about ourselves and our values grow and change’. (Belle Wallace, 2004)

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'A word carries a life time of experience' Shirley Johnson 2006 - thanks to Kathie Souter, her daughter, for giving me this quote from Shirley.

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The late Kate StJohn ( a Head teacher of 3 schools I had worked with over the years) gave me some very sage advice when I was feeling pretty bad when some people didnt respond well to a workshop I had run. She said the trouble was that a few people want it 'warm pink and fluffy and on a spoon' and were irritated that I had made them think. I have remembered this over the years and while sometimes I am painfully aware I have just not communicated well, occassionally I think Kate had a real point - some people just want it 'warm pink and fluffy and on a spoon'. When I was planning a day with a school on Thinking I told the person who was commissioning me that I dont do 'warm pink and fluffy and on a spoon'. She was delighted and told one of her pupils, who very kindly came up with this illustration which my new found friend pasted on all the course folders. I think of that pupil, her teacher and Kate when I need a bit of encouragement.

When I was talking with Sue Jones (Head, Farrington Guerney) she gave me the thoughts of Marley Hall, one of her Y6 pupils 'Philosophy is trying to answer questions there might not be an answer to' -he definitely didnt do ... on a spoon! Nov 2006

This question by one of Prof. Moira Laidlaw's student's Ma Li Juan at Ningxia University, has really resonated 'How can I attract my students’ attention educationally?' July 2006, email and I feel this, from a pupil of Joy Mounter (Dep. Head Chew Stoke), show's what happens when a teacher engages creatively as an educator with such a question ‘I have learnt to never underestimate my skills of craft and learning, because nothing is impossible to a child with imagination.’ Learning evaluation by R. aged 10

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest that which is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." The actual author of the quotation is Marianne Williamson. To be precise, it is from her 1992 book, "Return to Love" (hardcover p. 165, paperback pp. 190-191)

This piece really means a lot to me but I am not a deist or a theist and have taken the liberty of removing references to a deity.

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“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” Pablo Casals

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A renowned genius once asked a student, "What are you watching when you sit on a hillside in the late afternoon as the colors turn from yellow to orange and red and finally darkness?" He answered, "You are watching the sunset." The genius responded, "That is what is wrong with our age. You know full well you are not watching the sun set. You are watching the world turn."- Buckminster Fuller in Jeremy Kagan

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