The Gift of Writing Back

In myriad ways, writing is a gift. It's a gift to have the education and talent necessary to write well. It's a gift that's invaluable in social, scholarly, and professional pursuits. And, writing creates a gift you can give. When you write an article, a book, or simply a tweet, you send a bit of yourself out into the world, where it might inform or inspire someone you've never met.

Mostly, you never know who is touched by your words. But once in a while, someone writes back. For example, I wrote Architects of Learning and soon after received this response:

Dear Peter,

I received your article the very hour I was pondering if/how to incorporate "after-school programming" into my daughter's Montessori school using the curriculum provided by The point that propelled me is "We can't wait to be invited. We must crash the party." I'm meeting with my daughter's school today and expect the program will be approved. If it isn't, I'll keep trying. Thank you for the thought-provoking and inspirational article.

Sincerely, Jennifer Michaels

Later that same day, I received this follow-up:

Good news! I got approval to offer the program at the Montessori school. I'll probably start with programs like Scratch and Alice for the younger kids (I didn't even know about them until the kind people at Codecademy suggested them as options).

I also spend time with kids in foster care group homes and plan to introduce programming at a basic, fun level. Maybe one or more kids will feel inspired and confident enough to pursue technology as an area of study or profession. Foster kids need all the inspiration and chances they can get.

Sincerely, Jennifer Michaels

These messages made my day. So, thank you Jennifer, for teaching, and for telling me that my words made a difference. And, thanks to everyone who pays it forward by giving the gift of writing back. As I writer, I can tell you with absolute conviction that your words make a difference too!

Strange Connections

A glimpse of what it's like to be a teacher. Claudia, our 11 year old daughter, can quote this word for word, and she gets the voices just right.

Thanks to everyone who's working to make the second annual World IA Day a big success. I look forward to seeing some of you in Ann Arbor.