Archive for June, 2014


June 16, 2014 Comments Off on GOOD MORNING! General

dreams and visions


When Maya Angelou passed away I watched a video of her spectacular presentation of “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. I think it is such a wonderful, energetic, and important poem – reminding us that there are brand new beginnings in every moment of history. I have long been in the habit of saying “good morning” to everyone I pass on the street, but since watching that video my greetings have become more enthused. A new day is, after all, NEW. History has its place, but the freshness of day just beginning should never be taken for granted. There is so much that we can say and do in a day that can change so many things!

I thought about this a lot during my recent participation in the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development Institute and the annual meeting of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators in Minneapolis. I loved both meetings – great opportunities to learn about new ideas and become more enthused about the wonderful work of teaching. I particularly want to thank the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children for inviting me to participate in their DINNER WITH AUTHORS. It was so graciously organized beginning to end – I treasure the “T is for Twin Cities” children’s alphabet book that was waiting for me at my table. I was so thrilled to be able to enjoy a lovely restaurant dinner with some of the attendees, who also received a copy of my book Standing Up for Something Every Day. Their insights and questions were so interesting! I left the meetings with a renewed sense of possibility in the work we all do to serve the children of the United States.

Yet, in some sessions, there was evidence of some discouragement – there are so many reasons why we all wonder if we are really making a difference. The problems early educators face – the needs of so many children and families, low pay, lack of recognition, limited resources, increasing standardization –are daunting. That’s where Maya Angelou and the final words of her poem – Good Morning! – become important. Every day, we can reframe our problems and refocus our attention on what can be done. Something can always be done! Even the worst constraints have spaces for enthused creativity – change comes slowly but it does come with dedicated vision and hard work. As Maya Angelou indicates in her poem for the presidential inauguration,

“The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change.”

Always true, I think.

Good morning!

Written by Beatrice S. Fennimore a teacher educator focused on advocacy and social justice for all children