What is Your Purpose?

Noun: the reason for which something exists 

What is your purpose? What is preventing you from discovering your purpose?


Leadercast Women asked this very question to the hundreds in attendance. That is a pretty lofty question to impose on someone, isn’t it? I honestly can’t articulate my purpose on this Earth in a neatly written phrase…YET. I know that we are here for many reasons beyond our recognition and understanding. Purpose for ourselves, and purpose for others. 
So, that was the theme of the day, Powered By Purpose.
What are you even here for?
How have you gotten to the place where you are now?
Can you see a clear path, with direction for your future? 
As educators, we could say that our purpose is quite clear. Our purpose is to serve children, nurture their academic and character growth, and help them find THEIR purpose. But deep down, beyond our job, our purpose is bigger than that. Being able to articulate our purpose will help empower, drive, and inspire action. 


The gift that was given to me yesterday was a cold, gray stone. I have the responsibility of leaving no stone unturned until I am clear about my purpose and the journey that I’m taking during this time on Earth. I need to push away those roadblocks, turn over stones, and discover more about myself. 
As I reflect on the messages from the incredible speakers, I will continue to post my thoughts through their words and inspiration in the upcoming posts on my personal blog. You can follow along and hear their stories of purpose at LinkToLearning!
Molly Fletcher, Neeta Bhushan, Ginger Hardage, Laura Vanderkan, Shabnam Mogharabi, Mama Jan Smith, Dr. Bernice King, and Jenn Lim
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Learner, Thinker, Writer: Marsha Harris serves the Trinity School community as the Director of Curriculum.

Deep Learning…what does it REALLY mean?


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what Deep Learning really means? Is it “less”, but “more”? Is it more complex, more work, and difficult? Does technology assist in this? Is deeper learning only for a select group of students, or is it for everyone? What does it look like in the classroom?
How do we create a community of people who truly understand what deep learning really is?

For me, I’ve been grappling with all of these ideas, asking a lot of questions, and trying to gather information about the topic. As our school community begins to look at this topic, do we really understand it? Can everyone articulate what it means? I’m still getting there.

A Rich Seam How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning

A Rich Seam
How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning

One resource that I came across, was focused on the use of technology and how the effective integration of it, allows for deeper meaning and understanding from our learners. For years, I’ve been talking about the difference between consuming information (knowledge acquisition) an creating content to share with the world. Applying what they’ve learned in new ways.

~One way that deep learning can occur is through the intentional use of technology in the classroom along with the change/shift in pedagogy from the facilitator.~ According to Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy,

“the explicit aim is deep learning that goes beyond the mastery of existing content knowledge. Here, deep learning is defined as ‘creating and using new knowledge in the world.’ “

Deep learning tasks are those that re-structure the learning process towards knowledge creation and purposeful use.

Deeper Learning for All is a resource that had me nodding my head YES to as I was reading…it confirmed what MY ideas about Deep Learning are! Mastering core academic content and being able to think critically to solve complex problems. Working collaboratively to learn how to communicate effectively while developing an academic mindset. All of these competencies help us understand what it means…but how to we accomplish these things?

Personalized Learning- LEARN

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Project Based Learning-DO

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Work Based Learning-APPLY

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Competency Based Learning- SHOW

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As I’ve been thinking about what all of this means, and what it looks like in particular, it’s affirming to know that we ARE doing these things, and doing them WELL. Finding intentionality in how we do things will lead us to an understanding of what deeper learning really is.


Learner, Thinker, Writer: Marsha Harris serves the Trinity School community as the Director of Curriculum.

Things that I’ve noticed today…

Waking my kids up 15 minutes earlier makes for a happier morning for all

Whether you’re a morning person or not, waking up at 5:15 is EARLY! Those “lazy days of summer” are now over and it’s hustle and bustle around all of our homes earlier than we’d like. Getting ready for work is like running a tight ship. If I don’t get myself ready before my angels wake up, expect me to arrive more frazzled than normal!

The way that I wake my kids up can make or break everyone’s day. This is something to keep in mind when working with children daily. That very first moment in the morning can set the tone for the day. Some mornings I still need to stop myself from fussing and rushing my kids when that extra 15 minutes will solve all problems!

This morning, I was able to wake my children up more gently, give them extra snuggles, have conversation with them and talk about all of the fun they were about to have at school.  2 drop-offs later, they were both happy and so was mommy…now on to carpool duty!

Carpool can still be difficult for little ones  (and mommies) to say goodbye

It seemed to be an extra busy morning with little ones needing a helping hand, and even a “mommy hip” to be carried down to their classroom. It must be so hard for them to be dropped off and whisked away without their parent. For some, it’s a piece of cake and for others, it’s traumatizing! We have such a loving group of teachers here helping students, wiping tears, holding hands and hugging tight until they feel safe. As a parent, I’d like to know and see that my little one is being loved. What a great place to be for a kid!

Pre-k students loved coming to the idea lab

Ms. Erin, Ms. Martha and Ms. Kelly brought their awesome pre-k students in to the Idea Lab today to explore the iPads. We took pictures of our friends and used those pictures in Doodle Buddy to write our name and add stamps that we like. They did a great job following directions and accessing their picture from the camera roll, annotating over it and saving it back to the camera roll! Don’t underestimate the determined and tech savvy 4 yr. olds!

6th grade and planning for the school theme

 It was fun watching the 6th graders prepare the video for the new school theme! This assembly brings so much anticipation for all of the students and brings us together to work for the same goals. Whether it’s “living above the line”, having SWAG, or “keeping calm and playing on”, I love the excitement and responsibility it allows the 6th graders to share with our community!

Learner, Thinker, Writer: Marsha Harris serves the Trinity School community as the Lead Instructional Technology Specialist. @marshamac74

The Digital Immigrant- Extreme Version


My grandmother was born in 1924 (that makes her 89). She grew up on a farm and brought up her children on a farm. The only form of modern technology to her was a “party line” that enabled her to know if someone was calling her, or the neighbor up the road. They had milking machines on the farm, which was a BIG deal. The antenna on the roof provided the 3 basic channels needed to hear the news, watch Laurence Welk and see the hockey game.

My grandmother is a “Digital Immigrant” by today’s terminology. As a matter of fact, most of us who’ve been teaching for at least 15 years are also digital immigrants in some way because we  just missed the Internet explosion in our education in 1996. By that time, I was just finishing up university, and honestly, was very intimidated by venturing down in the basement of my dormitory to the computer lab. I barely knew how to turn a computer on for that matter!

In 2001, Mark Prensky, an author who popularized the phrase “digital immigrant” and “digital native”, wrote about how this digital age of technology will impact the way teaching and learning takes place. That was 12 years ago. I think about how much has changed in the past 12 years as far as teaching, learning and technology are intertwined. It’s unfathomable!

Anyways, the whole purpose of this post is to highlight my 89 year old grandmother who started her first computer class today. Yay Grandma!!! She has never touched a mouse, typed on a computer keyboard, has no understanding of the Internet or how a message can be sent by pushing a button.

These were her comments to me last night as we spoke on the phone…it cracked me up!

  1. I’m too old for this…what am I thinking?
  2. I found out that when you type, you push a button to start a new line rather than hearing a bell and pushing a lever to move the carriage.
  3. I discovered the button that you use when you make a mistake.
  4. I’m going to put my foot through the darned thing!!!
  5. I wish that you were here to teach me.

No matter how old we are, there will always be something new to learn. My Grandma is taking her learning to new heights, taking risks, venturing to the unknown and jumping in feet first. I’m proud of her.


Learner, Thinker, Writer: Marsha Harris serves the Trinity School community as the Lead Instructional Technology Specialist. @marshamac74