I have not done a good job of keeping up with writing these appreciations the way I would have liked. Sigh. So many things I have not kept up with the way I would have liked.
I don’t know how I first found Sherri (edifiedlistener) online. She teaches elementary students P.E. and she lives in Austria so she doesn’t fit in any neat box for why I would know her. But I am so glad I do. First of all, she has completely challenged my thinking about P.E. teachers. Which clearly needed challenging!
Her writing is absolutely gorgeous. One gets the impression that Sherri writes about anything she feels passionately about. Which I greatly respect. This includes her students and teaching, of course. It can also include nature (which I love more theoretically than in reality so reading about it is perfect for me). It also includes equity and systemic racism. Hearing the perspective of a woman of color who grew up in the U.S., has family in the U.S., but lives in western Europe, is fascinating. And I think really important. It is easy for me to get caught up in hearing the same voices or perspectives and thinking I’m hearing everything. Sherri helps me widen what I hear, both with her own writing and with the voices she retweets.
When posts from different people pop up in my RSS reader, I have noticed I respond in different ways. Some are immediate clicks because I know it’ll be fun or light or because it’ll quite possibly be something that only needs a glance. Other posts sit there for a while because I know they need my full attention. I know some people’s writing can’t be read while I’m multitasking in any way. Sherri’s definitely fits in that category. I want to be able to savor her writing. Not surprisingly then, her book of essays is absolutely wonderful. The title alone had sold me, Care at the Core: Conversational Essays on Identity, Education, and Power.
Sherri is, from all I can tell, authentically herself through her writing, on twitter, and in person. I’m not sure that can be said for most of us. It is hard, I think, to be authentically ourselves all the time. It is something about Sherri that I both respect and attempt to learn from.