Where the Magic Happens

The graphic above contains one of go-to images that I use in my teaching and in life. My students love/hate it, because they know I live by it in the classroom and will push them right out of their zones into something awful…and then gloriously wonderful. At this point, they trust me enough to approach new tasks with gleeful dread, smiling while groaning. They have come to learn that the magic—the learning, the courage, the sense of accomplishment—comes only after the leap, the struggle, the discomfort. Robbing them of the struggle—or not providing them with one—would also rob them of the deliciousness of success that comes on the other side.

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It never ceases to amaze me how we teach what we need to learn. Applying that principal in my own life is not as nearly as easy as facilitating growth in others. Since Lizzy and I have finally taken the leap that is Practical Pedagogs (PP), we have lived where the magic happens. Ummm…well, not entirely accurate…we have lived in either misery or joy with intermittent attacks of focus and tenacity. We both tend toward positive-thinking and are also learning how to use our perfectionism for its upside—both help us with continuing our momentum. We initially planned to get busy with our PP adventure a year ago, but trapped in our own cycles of procrastination and perfectionism didn’t launch until almost a year-to-the-day later. Our logo demonstrates not only our commitment to our “out of our comfort zone” philosophy, but also our belief in embracing mistakes and living a life free of perfectionism-paralysis—that can be a later post.


Right now I am in Southern California, one of my absolute favorite places with my favorite people. I sent this picture to Lizzy for a funny social media post, but the reality is that it’s no joke. The lookout where I am sitting is my peaceful start to each day while here, and my thoughts are flooded with PP. Not the frantic, ticker-tape style of obsessive thinking when I am worried about something, but the kind of thinking that is inspired by desire, joy, and creativity. The leap out of my comfort zone into PP and all of its subsequent frustrations and victories brought me to this place. Had I not jumped, I would still be where I was: fine. I was fine…but who wants that when there is magic to be had?

Just slayed WordPress after 1 week of insanity and a massive helping of humble pie. #butwecoded

Our blog posts will shift with time and the school year, to the “practical” side of PP, but for now, we are immersed in reflection and action. We’d love for you to come along with us. How can you edge out of your comfort zone? A baby step or a leap—either way, the other side of it is better than fine.     ♥ Julie

5 thoughts on “Where the Magic Happens”

  1. I love the graphic! I drove the point home for my first graders who were feeling frustrated one day. I told them I hoped some of them got some questions wrong and they thought I was SO MEAN. When I said that’s how they learn they didn’t believe me. So I said, “Okay, let’s ignore the schedule. For 10 minutes we’re NOT going to do phonics. We’re going to do EASY. What color is this? What letter is that? What’s 1 + 1? Is this fun and helping you learn, or is it boring and feeling like I’m wasting your time? A few enjoyed it briefly (the rest were amused) but I think they all got my point by the end!


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