Meme: Passion Quilt – Kaleidoscopic

Holding the Kaleidoscope

I was tagged recently by one of my Twitter friends, Drew Buddie, to share with you what I’m passionate about teaching my students. I haven’t responded to the tag right away, as I’ve been mulling it over, trying to decide the best way to articulate what exactly my passion in my teaching is. I think I’ve finally managed it:

I’m passionate about illuminating new perspectives.

I think the best way to explain is to show you some photos:

Through the Kaleidoscope 1Through the Kaleidoscope 2Through the Kaleidoscope 3

The images above are all taken through the viewfinder of my children’s kaleidoscope. Every time I slightly adjust the kaleidoscope, the patterns change. The components remain the same, but the view alters radically.

When I teach my students at university, or my children at home, I want to show them how the kaleidoscope works. I want to show them that by altering their perspective, by looking deeper, longer, or from a different angle entirely, a whole other world can be observed. Now, I don’t want to continue holding and adjusting the viewfinder for them. The whole point is to show them how it works, and then what they choose to do with it is up to them. I’m just happy if they share with me and the rest of the class what they see. My ‘formal’ teaching at university attempts to convey this understanding as it pertains to the reading of texts. I know I’ve done my job well, when I have students say to me at the end of a semester that they’ll never read books the same way again. My more ‘informal’ teaching of my own children has always been about empowering them to grasp hold of the kaleidoscope, and to embrace and explore the many different perspectives they find contained within.

And I suppose, to a certain extent, it’s also what I teach here at Lives Less Ordinary. I am still in a state of becoming. I am still learning from the kaleidoscope, and what I share here are my findings. I’m providing a peek through the viewfinder, and sharing the way I view the patterns, the colours, the way the light falls. I ask all my questions at the end of each post, because I want to hear what you see when you look through the viewfinder.

Thank you so much for sharing with me what you see.

Here are the rules for the meme:

The Rules

  1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce etc

However, I won’t tag anyone. Why don’t you share your answer here, or, if you do decide to have a go at it on your own blog, drop me a line and I’ll link to you in an update.


April 24, 2008. Inspiration, meme.


  1. Joanna Young replied:

    Amy, I’m glad you took your time over this because the result is fantastic. A wonderful insight into the way you teach and learn, and the way we too can learn to look at the world differently, to open our eyes.

    I also thought this was a perfect description of your blog – esp the magical mixture you offer of pictures and words.

    “I’m providing a peek through the viewfinder, and sharing the way I view the patterns, the colours, the way the light falls.”


  2. mrschili replied:

    I’ve LOVED this project! Every time I go to a fellow teacher’s site and see the image they chose, I find myself nodding in agreement.

    I did my quilt square here:

  3. mrschili replied:

    Sorry – that’s a link to the search; HERE’S the link to the post:

  4. Penelope Anne replied:

    I love the kaleidoscope analogy, very profound way to express yourself.
    My passion for my kids, aka my students…that they learn tolerance, acceptance, and do unto others as they would have others do unto them.

  5. saintseester replied:

    I’ve added your quilt block to the online passion quilt at: passion quilt

  6. Rosa Say replied:

    Amy this is such a wonderful metaphor. You have also given me an intense craving to sit in one of your classes. You would find me to be a very eager student!

    If every teacher could convey a love of reading – what you say you do with “texts” I do believe that our world would be a very different place, and all for the better. I am going to be sharing your posting with all the teachers I know, for you have described what “Teaching with Aloha” can be.

  7. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Joanna. Like I said in the post, I’ve been considering it for a while before I began to type it up. I’m glad you enjoyed what I finally came up with 🙂

    Oh, I’ll make sure I follow that up, Mrschili! Thank you so much for leaving the link.

    Those are extremely important principles to pass on to your children, Penelope Anne. Well done for prioritising them!

    Thanks Saintseester! It’s looking great 🙂

    Oh, Rosa, I would love to have you along to one of my classes! They’re always a lot of fun, and I’m sure I get just as much from every class as my students do. Thank you for spreading the word about the post too. I love that you recognise Aloha in my teaching!

  8. Karen Swim replied:

    Amy, this is incredible. I love the kaleidoscope analogy. We all view things through our own lens but if we seek to make tiny adjustments we allow new experiences, insights and perspectives. I also love that the kaleidoscope is filled with many colorful images that are all shifting and changing as you adjust your lens. This is very much like life itself. Thanks you Amy.


  9. Steven replied:

    My reading of the kaleidoscope is pretty much on a par with Karen. I’ve only recently started teaching and, while one of my tutorial groups have really embraced the insights and ideas of others, the other group have shown a little more reluctance. I think it’s because the other group is alot quieter and more introverted, preferring to reflect upon new and unfamiliar ideas before they embrace them, a bit like me really. I think for many people the ‘kaleidoscope’ is acquired rather than innate, but once it is embraced, life and living become so exciting.

    I still don’t quite have the confidence to do the tasks you put on your blogs, but one day I will! As ever, thank you.

    All best wishes to you and yours.


  10. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Karen. I thought you’d like this analogy 🙂

    It’s funny how different one group can be from another, isn’t it, Steven? I guess we all approach our learning in different ways, but like you say, as soon as we consciously embrace the kaleidoscope with all the wonders that it holds, life does become a lot more exciting, more colourful.
    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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