Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Good Mess Of Stuff

This will be a short one because I have to catch an early flight back to Seattle . . .

I'm sitting in my hotel room here in Sydney, Australia after spending the better part of three weeks traveling around this country and New Zealand with Niki Buchan, talking to teachers and parents about the way we do early childhood education at Woodland Park, but the truth is that I've probably learned more from them than the other way around. It's been both fun and edifying, and, as it turns out, a toe in the water as I've been asked to return next August by Natasja and Nicole, my incredible hosts from Inspired EC. Next year we plan to visit even more of the country and talk to more people, inspiring and being inspired.

I expect I'll be writing quite a bit over the next few weeks about my thoughts and experiences, telling you some of the stories about my time here, but right now it's all kind of a jumble, a good mess of stuff to reflect upon.

I ran across Marc Armitage while here, presenting and traveling with him for a time. I got to meet and even play with some of my Australian early childhood blogging sisters, Donna and Sherry, the "Irresistible Girls," Jenny Kable of Let the Children Play, and spend some time with Greg Harvey from Males in Early Childhood, Alec Duncan from Child's Play Music, and so many others who have been my virtual friends and allies over these past five years as a blogger.

There's something special going on here and I'm happy to be a part of it. I'm both moved and encouraged about how much passion people have for high quality, progressive, play-based early childhood education. We're everywhere, it seems, all around the globe.

After all this time going about side-by-side with Niki, one would think we would by now be sick of one another, or at least have run out of things to talk about, but yesterday morning in Auckland, the final time we were to sit waiting for our flight to be announced, we began making our plans for the future, finding ourselves getting increasingly excited when we should have been running on fumes.

I'm eager to get home, of course, to my family and school, but I'm happy to know I'm coming back to continue the conversations we've started.

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Kerrie Simes said...

Its an exciting journey Teacher Tom and all of us in ECE are a part of the journey!! Thank you for sharing so much of you in Australia. we are all inspired and planning!
Kerrie Simes.

Males in Early Childhood said...

I think I can speak on behalf of all those who met you Down Under when I say the pleasure was all ours. You are a bright, passionate and energetic professional, this we already know from your blog. What we find out when we meet you in person is just how genuine, down to earth, gracious and giving you are.

It seemed that you gave everything that was asked of you and more. Your tireless energy and love of life is infectious and I challenge anyone who talks with you not to feel more energised after such an encounter.

Personally, I feel so honoured to have had the opportunity to even spend a brief time to get to know part of the real Tom on a personal level. I have always had respect for you as a colleague and professional, but now I can truly count you as a friend and know that the world is a better place for having individuals such as yourself in it.

Thanks you for giving so much of yourself to us antipodeans and we cannot wait for your return visit.

Man crush much?
Greg :D