I’m new to blogging (first one ever) but not to sharing ideas I’m passionate about in a variety of other ways.

Over the years I’ve opened my classroom to local and international students in my profession. I wrote a column in a magazine with parents in mind for a time and May 2007 marked the first time I spoke from a stage. I was invited to speak as a key note speaker at the, “Through the Eyes of a Child Conference” put on by the Supported Child Development Program in Abbotsford & Chilliwack BC. This was the very first time I was face-to-face with a large audience and to be honest it was one of the bravest and scariest things I’ve ever done.

At that time I was inspired to share two of my passions: “together we’re better” and “setting the stage for learning” ….so a few deep breaths and onto the stage I went to share my message and first ever PowerPoint.

The quote, “together we’re better” resonates deeply within my heart. I use it in my classroom, finding teachable moments at Early Discoveries to connect with the children about empathy and how we make a greater impact when we share who we are and work together. I want children to know they matter, they make a difference and their ideas are sooooo important. I first heard, “Together We Are Better” from a book title written by Bev Boss (she might be the most inspiring Early Childhood Educator I have ever met) and I have incorporated the abbreviated version into my heart and classroom ever since. I believe that connections are a beautiful thing and that we as humans are hardwired for them. On a deeper level I believe it’s why we are all here. Much like the quote “it takes a community to raise a child” I feel together we make a greater impact on the world when we set about to share and extend our gifts beyond the walls of our own classrooms, homes and offices.

Speaking at the conference I advocated for creating inviting set ups to inspire wonder and engage children through their world of play. I promoted and encouraged teachers to really make the most of networking meetings and working together. Something I personally loved to do with my staff; I always came away in awe of what we created at team meetings through synergy when we put our creative hearts together. With a move of house in 2010 my pre-school relocated from a leased classroom within the West Vancouver School District to converting over half of my home in Squamish BC into our new early learning space. I went from a staff of 5 and teaming up with the Elementary school staff to working on my own. Let’s just say this dramatic change had a profound impact on my life…

It’s been a bumpy journey at times moving to a new community and starting over, especially when I learned that in my new community the local school board doesn’t (or no longer) leases preschool/out of school care classrooms to private owner/operators.

This news felt crushing as previous to our move I was guided by my intuition to let go of everything and start over in my new community, so I was puzzled at why the brick wall had appeared. Then it happened…my dear friend Sue saw my post on facebook one evening and immediately called me.

She knows me well and my discouraged post made her curious enough to reach out right away. She only had a few minutes before she was boarding a flight from a speaking engagement but her words immediately gave me hope and landed in my heart. She asked me (well it felt like more of a challenge at the time) to consider that, “what if everything was perfect?” and to consider and stay open to the idea that: “maybe my handprint or impact might look different going forward. Maybe I was playing it small”. Playing it small? Everything was perfect? How? I couldn’t get my head around this to be honest at the time, as I have always set a goal and made it happen… so brick walls and closed doors were nothing new but usually they opened with enough persistence and passion. What I came to understand right at that moment was perhaps it was time to let go of looking at the closed door and turn around to be open and present to what was unfolding. I scrolled 10 words onto a sticky note from a Jann Arden song, “Feet on ground, heart in hand, facing forward, be yourself” and stuck it in on my bathroom mirror.

So here I am taking inspired action and writing a blog years after the brick wall landed in my career path. During my years of teaching I have always felt a deep desire to connect, inspire others and share ideas long before anyone could pull up Pintrest to get inspired. Being a visual person myself I documented and collected years of photos of sand box/water table/science table & light table set ups (to name a few) with a desire to share these wonderful captures. I always felt there should be more ways of connecting with other teachers and parents and had originally thought the images might one day take shape as a book. Some photos I may never be inspired to publish, while others I feel are the perfect jumping off point for future blogs and hopefully…..might inspire just one other person. Kind of like the starfish story…if it makes a difference to even one…then it’s a win.

“I came out to wonder” is a blog and creative writing space for me to share ideas, photos and the journey I am on as an Early Childhood Educator, parent and someone who is part of a larger community. Whatever my handprint looks like … maybe just maybe my community impact goes beyond just where I am living. Maybe Sue had it right that it would look different. Maybe I just needed to change my definition of “community” to something a little more global.

Networking and Synergy are definitely a few of my favourite things (It’s right up there with fridge boxes, but that’s a completely different blog).