(Photo Credit: Thank you to Lindsey Sanner Chamberlin for these pix! Love you, sister!)
Good morning, beautiful people!
Just wanted to give a shout-out to my VEGAS PEEPS in the Clark County School District and my fellow fellows from the Southern Nevada Writing Project and tell you how colossally grateful I am to have been with you in person last weekend! It was such an honor to be your keynote speaker these last two years. Our virtual conference last year was fantastic, of course, but nothing beats an actual face-to-face gathering of the minds.
As we all head back to our respective classrooms, I am compelled to reach out to you again and breathe hope and fortitude and joy into your souls. Remember that we all stand somewhere on that continuum of courage. When we intentionally and purposefully foster our own heroic imaginations, we can co-create a better, kinder, safer world.
Let me leave you with this excerpt from my keynote:
Teachers who write are double trouble! Good trouble. I know we can barely find the time to work our side hustle—writing the next great American novel. But we do need to be writing, folks, like nobody’s business. We need to be writing our way forward. You have stories to tell, and no one has more expertise about your lived reality than you. Stand up. Shoulders back. We need to document our stories or someone else inevitably will. Do not relinquish the incredible power you have with nothing more than a pen or a keyboard. Protect your stories fiercely—like a parent protects their newborn baby—and protect our students’ stories with the same fire in your belly.
It is an inalienable right—to speak and to be, without fear or threat of harm. And if we as educators cannot own our personal and collective narratives, our stories, how can we ever hope to defend and protect the stories of our children and their families?
We’re being dragged down this path where the expertise of our scientists, educators, librarians, nurses, doctors, medical support staff, writers, and artists are patently dismissed in exchange for the misinformation machine that has a stranglehold on so many aspects of our lives. It’s off the rails. It’s like we are living in some sort of Twilight Zone, you know? Where the loudest, most relentless, belligerent person in the room is the correct one.
I’ve contemplated many times, are we witnessing the death of expertise? Have we gathered around the frail form of waning wisdom and common-sense gasping for every next breath?
Is that what is truly happening?
Maybe… what we are witnessing are the death throes of tyranny and oppression. Could it be that injustice and corruption are not sustainable after all as we evolve? Dare we believe, dare we hope, that perhaps, we are bearing witness to a way of life that doesn’t have very much longer to exist?
Could we turn this around in our own lifetime or at least set the stage for those brave ones who will come after to do precisely that?
You are my heroes.
For more information about how you can foster the heroic imaginations of your students, please click on this link: Dr. Philip Zimbardo's Heroic Imagination Project.
Daisy Rain Martin has spent over 25 years in the classroom and has managed to preserve her sanity—mostly. Actually, she feels quite fortunate to be doing all that she loves--teaching, speaking, writing and, as often as possible, laughing. She has earned three degrees: Bachelor of Sociology (1990), a Master of Curriculum and Instruction (2004) as well as a Master of Fine Arts in writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota (2021).
In the summers, you can find Daisy in her gardens with her husband or in her office writing. As often as she can, though, she loves spending time with her grandson, Wiggle, who was born on her birthday and her grandniece, Giggle, who was born on Christmas Eve. Truly, she writes for them.
If you are interested in having Daisy speak for your school district, provide professional development for your staff, or visit your school to talk to students, please contact her through this website.