When I think of the many people who’ve influenced my thinking and pedagogical practice, Mary Ann Reilly stands central among them. I encountered her blog by accident – through twitter – when twitter was just becoming a thing. We were connected through Ian Chia.
Mary Ann’s artwork is breathtaking, her writing exquisite and her dedication to creating meaningful learning experiences where students have agency, beautiful.
“Mary Ann likes to make things. Especially mistakes”.
She’s one of the quiet sharers in the edu world. Someone who should be keynoting but doesn’t. She’s a resistor – who has maintained her stance in that crazed world of American edu with its high stakes testing, charter schools and abandonment of public education.
We’ve never met.
Many of you who’ve been influenced by my work, may not realize how much is owed to her. She makes me think. I am a better teacher because of her.
And for this I am grateful.
Mary Ann’s husband in dying. Her life and that of her son have been turned upside down by cancer.
The diagnosis was unexpected, late stage and has been disastrous.
Mary Ann writes. She has been processing her experiences of her husband’s dying on her blog, Between the By-Road and the Main Road I have wept many times reading it. If you ever want to know what love is or what is important in life, go there.
From this distance all that I’ve been able to offer Mary Ann are words and virtual hand-holding.
However, now there is a more concrete way to help. Her friends have started a go-fund me campaign to help pay for Devon’s education as their family savings have been wiped out by Rob’s illness.
If you have ever benefited from my blog, or been inspired by Mary Ann, I ask you to consider reaching out and contributing to Rob’s Wish