Borderliners find each other

Paul, John,

Thank you. It’s that conundrum — would you ever trade what your life has taught you for a safer, simpler, easier life? Well, sometimes it’s tempting, yet…

I’m a huge fan of Peter Hoeg’s novel Borderliners. I think of it as essential reading for educators. One thing in it is the way ‘those on the borderline’ find each other. And I guess I’ve been finding kids ‘like me’ (or incredibly unlike me, yet, ‘like me’) for a long time.

I think of this story, and I think of the time a childhood friend on Facebook said how much he liked our elementary school principal. “When I cut school,” he said, “the principal would come to my house and get me.” “That’s funny,” I replied — not quite thinking. “He never came to get me.”

Was that his wisdom, knowing I’d be better off away from school, or was it something less pleasant. Who knows?

People aren’t usually ‘bad,’ but they often can’t get to where they’d understand and act in ways that connect. I don’t know, maybe it’s too hard. Not everyone is born with ‘fog lights’ that help them see the edges of the road.

The kids I know… need schools that look different.

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

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