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Asking the Big Questions

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Dear Exchange Community,

Have you noticed that life is both glorious and messy? As much as we might wish more certainty, often the answers to big questions just aren’t in the back of the book.

I am loving the questions being asked and wrestled with in two new ROW (Reimagining Our Work) books Exchange has recently published.

Here’s an excerpt from the foreword Ann Pelo and Margie Carter wrote for Nick Terrones’ wonderful book, A Can of Worms: Fearless Conversations With Toddlers:

“A two-year-old and her teacher, Nick, lie on their bellies eye to eye with a worm. The toddler, Paige, tries to fit the worm into an organizational system—male or female, boy or girl. She asks, “Does the worm have a penis?”

Her question hangs in the air while Nick gulps and collects his thoughts, aware that this question could carry them into intimate considerations. “How much should I say? How little?” he wonders. And he finds his answer in “one of my highest values, which is to honor children’s thinking by ... responding honestly. I decided to stick with Paige and her curiosity, her desire to understand, rather than let my anxieties stifle the conversation.”

And so Nick opens a can of worms. Consideration of the worm’s anatomy leads to questions about gender and identity—not only for worms but for Paige herself. Those questions stir Nick to examine the ways he talks with children.”

Donna King’s beautiful new book, Pursuing Bad Guys: Joining Children's Quest for Clarity, Courage and Community encourages educators to think alongside children as they tackle issues of right and wrong, good and bad and all the gray areas that are part of that conversation.

I’m proud that Exchange is supporting courageous educators who respect children’s right to ponder life’s big issues.

Here’s to your important work!

Nancy Rosenow, Exchange Publisher
on behalf of our entire team

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