How Was Your Day Cory Gordon? E1

Welcome to How was your day?

Over the last 5 weeks I collaborated with Cory Gordon a Teacher Candidate from Nipissing University.

Here is a short stack of the amazing conversations we travelled through.

In this episode: What’d you expect? This is Special Education.

Cory can be found at

You can find me on Twitter @chrisjoncluff and on WordPress at

Chasing Squirrels on iTunes

Chasing Squirrels on Google Play Music

The song played in this episode: Miles to go by 6AM is licensed under a Attribution-ShareALike License.

This song has not been remixed or changed in any way.


‘Who is your target audience?’

I have been asked this several times in reference to my reflective postings. Mostly it is related to my podcast Chasing Squirrels. And the question lands on many different spaces for me.

Admittedly, the term ‘audience’ rattles me a bit.

Contemplative, I  push back with rhetoric.

I can’t help it.

What is an audience? I rather think of us as co-learners, actually.

Where is my audience? Seems more interesting and vibrant.

When the audience is engaged, what then? I like this ambiguity, change happens here.

Why is there an audience? Pokes at bigger broader themes in EDU.

How did I get an audience? May reveal a new communication fluency.

In my reflective practice, I rarely think of or for the audience.

Most times the process of working through my thoughts is singularly structured . Focus on capturing my random. Tether the ideas to a form. Acknowledge it outside my brain. And then I move on.

This happens semi-automatically.

There is a fraction of this process that makes it to a public post. In much the same way, a fraction of my thoughts make it out of my mouth into conversation.

This happens intentionally.

I choose to engage in these conversation spaces, so my OS is constantly updating itself.


Because it is good digi-cit practice to post-positive.

Also because it is impossible to ignore the waves of challenges for professional existence in social media learning spaces. Ignorance, of the fine print that is buried surreptitiously in both digital social spaces or actual governing bodies is an error that can be devastating.

This has not happened yet.

The cathartic release of cognitive pressure sometimes results in pieces I like, other times not so much. But what I dislike, usually falls by my own sword of distraction. I didn’t focus, or capture, or tether very well.

I have never really accounted for where my posts may land, nor set them intentionally adrift through social media currents with the absolute expectation of a reply.

That’s not how conversation works for me.

If there is a question implicit or otherwise in my pieces, I am not always aware of its clarity. Despite the fact that some of my sentences end in a question mark.

In some ways, when I do get a message back, I am shaken from my process with happy astonishment. Cool … time to explore this idea further. Surprise!

Some may say that this type of broadcasting is too singular and I would agree in part. I think that reflective practice or contemplative learning is by nature, a solo mission. I would further posit that it needs to be. In this focussed space I become aware of the grey between my thoughts and my actions.

This buffer is necessary.

This buffer is intentional.

I have been on the receiving end of reflective pieces that are targeted at me. Or someone like me. Either way, I move on quickly. The brands that formulate these pieces are legion. That drive, to distinguish a single voice from the multitude of options, is obvious and sometimes brow beating.

That’s not me.

That’s not a learning space for me.

Finally, I guess I  do wonder…

Who is the target audience focussed on?

While they read my thoughts?

why chase squirrels?

One time my dog grabbed a squirrel, right off of the side of a tree. The squirrel spiraled one way, my dog counter spun, timed it right, and yanked it to the ground.

Darcy, my dog, yipped excitedly and repeatedly nose-bumped the poor little thing while holding it down with a paw. The squirrel chirped and squeaked, no doubt bewildered by its new reality.

I could tell that this was somewhat of a surprise to both animals.

Me? I was mindblown. And the more I thought about it, I kinda wished I could do a thing like that too. My dog pawed the little furball for a bit then let it go. Or it got away, hard to tell. In short order, it seemed to fly up the nearest tree, well beyond the view of my slavering dog.

Chasing Squirrels Podcast explores the complex connections and challenges of managing our daily life in the face of constant change. And, if you work in education, you know exactly what I am talking about

Change can be sudden and surprising or planned and forecasted- either way, we learning something. Change can create ambiguity and land on both good and bad opportunities. It can also make you wonder how you will ever make it back to that feeling of normalcy.

But people do it.

People embrace change and create new ‘normals’ for themselves regardless of whether a goal was mapped out or entirely accidental.

These are stories of challenge and change in everyday lives.