As a father and a constant learner, I consider it my responsibility to make sure my own kids do not grow up with the same assumptions I did – Not because my parents and teachers didn’t do a good job, but because they taught me what they knew and believed. Well, we know more now, and continue to learn more about this world each day.
Bridging my own learning, perspectives and networks with my own children is something I’m starting to do more of each day as a father. I have a crazy and cute son named Mark who is almost three years old, and a brand new and beautiful daughter, Molly, who is nearing three months and has helped me become more comfortable with the color pink.
Today’s #TEDxYouthBHS talk “Philempathy” centers on the assumptions I formed as a kid and into adulthood and the empathy I continue to develop now 37 years young. Typically, I speak about educational leadership, family engagement and social media’s impact on connectivity and global collaboration. I’ve spoken internationally for the past three years at over 100 engagements. Today will be the first time I talk about some really vulnerable topics for me, my family and my friends. These are my own views, and do not necessarily reflect the views of our employers, now and in the future – but I hope so.
I’d like to thank the fourteen TEDxYouthBHS speakers who went before me today, including 21 year old Edinboro student @Bryn_McMahon and 2015 Penn graduate Talon Ducheneaux (@BazilleDx) for modeling courage and strength to be vulnerable and comfortable in their own skin. I’m so lucky to call you both friends and look forward to following your work.
Upper elementary kids through grandparents. Not just youth, but adults of all ages have a responsibility to take an ongoing inquiry stance in life. We should never stop learning, gaining perspectives and reflecting on this learning publicly and/or privately, online or offline.
Link to my slidedeck
Rafranz Davis, Dr. Tony Sinanis and Nick Provenzano – you have each helped me get through some really hard times and I’m so happy to be connected to you. Much love to my family Marky, Molly, Lauren and Oliver; my parents Carol, Joe, Bonnie and brother Jon; as well as my in-laws Peg, Tom, Tommy and Mark for being a big part of my life. You each keep me going and support what I am lucky to do every day.
Kids, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends: What are your 10 Assumptions? Adults – Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean you can’t still work on dissolving your life long assumptions, and finding knowledge and empathy through trips (physically or virtually) to literally anywhere you want. If you need help, please reach out.
Connected educators and families – Using the hashtag#10Assumptions on Twitter and/or the comment section below to articulate one or more of your own assumptions. You can also add Voxer audio links as comment messages as well if that is easier. I’d really like to hear from you, as I continue unpacking my own assumptions.