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Those edges aren't that sharp

regenerative mindset

Sarah Pottle

written by

Ok, So.  Margins and Edges.  

I hope you’re sitting on the edge of your seat for this one. 

Wait, what do I mean? What does that mean? In what sense?  And most importantly, can there be value found in the edge?

We can apply the value of the edges that are found in nature, and then we can come to see what that means for us in our relationships and our classrooms. 

When we think of the edge, we tend to think of something that separates.  The edge of the forest is where the forest ends and the field begins.    The cliff’s edge is where the cliff ends and the long fall begins. The water’s edge is the difference between dry feet and wet feet. Right? Well, kind of. There might be a different approach. 

Instead of thinking of the edge as something that separates, maybe we can think of the edge as something that includes. 

For example, when you walk closer toward the edge of the cliff, you’ll start to feel an increasing sense of fear, excitement, anxiety, if you have a healthy fear of heights.  Twenty feet from the cliff’s edge is very different than 10 feet… is different than 5… is different than 1 foot away from terrifying fall. This means that there is a margin. You can feel it in your body. As you approach the edge of the cliff, your heart will beat faster.  You might start to shake or move a little more slowly...your senses will TUNE IN as you move within that margin.   

The point is, it’s not just cliff and air.  There’s something in between. There’s a margin that we can feel with our entire intelligence.  Being in that margin changes the way we act and interact in that space. It changes the way that we think.

Fog? Sunset? Wetlands? All these margins found in our natural systems are brimming with diversity and life because with the margin comes more possibility.  

If margins are where life thrives, how can we create more margins in our classrooms? 

So the tangible physical spaces of our schools first come to mind.  

Bringing the inside out (outdoor classrooms, field trips, etc.)

Bringing the outside in (plants, guest speakers, etc.)

But, can we do better than just a list of to-dos?  Beyond the physical stuff?




Physical touch and proximity.  What about the margins between us when we are having a conversation?   Visualize overlapping space between verbal and nonverbal communication.   Where in this communication can we see the beauty. The life? Imagining this will help us become better listeners.  We are in that margin together with our students. This will help us be more present for our students. We can even encourage our students to their of their communication as part of this margin that welcomes presence, beauty, and life.  Ask them how they see their margins.  

Might sound too woo-woo for you? Well, there isn’t really anything too progressive about:

1)observing scientific patterns in nature

2)sharing those patterns with you students

3)mimicking those patterns to create a class culture where students thrive!

Challenge students to stay in the edge to allow them to be present and feel more alive and beautiful. 

If you have any thoughts or questions about this show, I’d be happy to respond to it on the next podcast if I’m able. Record your name, your location, and your thought or question below by pushing the “start recording” button.

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