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June 11, 2024

Reimagining Heartbreak

What do we see breaking in these stories? Perhaps the thin veneer of professionalism that urges us to objectively assess skills and to be in control, is breaking open to allow for recognition of the interconnectedness of everything in our planet, and of children’s whole-hearted embrace of these relationships. What good is a heart if it can’t break out of this kind of prison?
– Karyn Callaghan, President, Ontario Reggio Association

We are thrilled to announce a new book in the Reimagining Our Work Collection, Reimagining Heartbreak: An Educator’s Journey to Reclaim Whole-Heartedness by Shelley Brandon.

Early response to this beautiful book includes this review from Karyn Callaghan, President of the Ontario Reggio Association.

“Shelley Brandon’s poetic narrative paints pictures of what it is to be deeply attuned to the vibrations all around us – to the sensibilities of all our relations. She is an educator who reclaimed the privilege to be truly, aesthetically, present alongside whole-hearted toddlers. We are invited into the provocative refocusing that happens when one word is added – from “I felt my heart break”, to “I felt my heart break open”, and to recognize the values we can bring to our work with children that will welcome these kinds of liberating breaks.

Kintsugi is the name for Japanese pottery that highlights the beauty of breaks and cracks with gold. While kintsugi has endured and been admired for centuries, it is thought that its longevity may be due to its tender embrace of accidents and mistakes. Shelley recognizes how much we can learn from this kind of embrace, and helps us to reflect on the many heart-, spirit-, and mind-filling opportunities we may crush in well-intentioned efforts to prevent these cracks from happening. In these precious stories, she invites us to join in this life-enriching heartbreak.”

Edited by Margie Carter and Ann Pelo, Reimagining Heartbreak brings the depth and courage you’ve come to expect from ROW books, along with guided inquiry through a full Study Guide. Teams and books clubs around the world are engaging with the ROW collection to provoke, inspire and sustain their pedagogy. Our gratitude to Shelley, Ann and Margie, the authors of all the ROW Collection books, and the Exchange ROW Community for sharing their boldness, passion, commitment, and humanity.

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