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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 04.22.22

“All the saints have a past. All the sinners a future.” Oscar Wilde

Last week, I wrote a bit about community places – third spaces where you can learn and observe how people make a living. One of those places I mentioned was a man rolling cigars in a little storefront on Flatbush Ave. On Saturday night, I went out with my friend Bob to grab a bite to eat and listen to some jazz. It turns out that we walked by, you guessed it, our new friend Julio rolling cigars in front of a cigar bar. Julio was from The Heights so we had OLD Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx represented. Bob was wearing his Yankee hat and Julio and Bob immediately connected as well as ganged up on me for my Brooklyn Dodger loyalty even though Julio was originally from the DR where the Dodgers had always had their winter camp. It was great to gather with a group of imports from NYC who ended up in San Diego. And, it was great to have Julio make an immediate judgement of how he felt about me being a Dodger fan with a straight up NYC “I don’t like you. Fuck You!” It is something that only someone from certain places in NYC would understand and no one outside of NYC would.

It must be that Julio got to me. because after I saw him The NYC I keep a tight lid on boiled over. I wrote….

DONE with OUTPUTS - I’m done with number outputs as markers of success. The same people who ask for them will spend millions on one of their own children’s education and ask us to impact tens of thousands of students for a quarter of what they would spend on their own child. Where’s the equity, parity and merit there. DONE!

DONE with SHORT-TERM. We can’t sustain work without long-term investments that allow us to feel our way through ever-changing situations and terrains. DONE!

DONE with PITCH – I’m done with pitches and contests that are so politically charged, motivated and predictable. They are formed by wealthy hierarchies for a market not based on merit but based on the outputs that a group wants. DONE!

Thanks Julio.



At the recent ASU GSV conference quite a few meetings were about unbundling some BPL practices from the whole school work we do. Harbor Freight Fellows, ImBlaze, B-Unbound, BPLIVING and The IBPLC are good examples of this. On a call this week with Sunnana and Yusef from TFA about innovating/changing practice in Teach For America the notion of unbundling Advisory, Leaving to Learns as PD for newly recruited TFA teachers hit me. Simple things like working on a school culture of caring and compassion, listening, following interests and the well-being of all make lots of sense. Could we use B-U as a way to have every TFA recruit be a co-navigator with a student? Could they use B-U to navigate their own interests with a co-navigator? This is pretty easy to do where you learn to engage young people around their interests. Could they themselves practice the six measures of BPLiving to understand how they impact learning? Of course all of this manifests as a culture of caring and compassion that school and district leadership must take seriously, More to come.

Some great ideas are coming out of the College-Unbound course on lifestyle and well-being. What if everyone took a photo of a plant-based meal they prepared on one particular day and put it up on tic toc or some other platform?

Great talks with Executive Director of ACLM, Beth Frates and Michelle Tollefson. Brought up by Beth, we discussed where meaning and purpose fit in with the six measures.

Another good call was with Rob Andrade of Johnson Controls. Rob is up in Seattle and is about develop some big initiatives that need the type of internship/apprenticeship mode that we have developed.

My meeting with Casey on a federal proposal coming out of NY we are part of went well. Thanks to Viv and her colleagues’ work, we can get numbers on what it will cost a school to be part of the IBPLC work in the US.

Next week, I’ll be visiting Scott Boldt in Belfast..

Be well!


Elliot Washor

Co-Founder of Big Picture Learning

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