Over the past few days I have read a new book called, The Not Perfect Hat Club. It was written by a person who I call my friend, Jena Ball. I first met Jena online as a teacher who I had connected with as part of my Twitter PLN. I heard about her experiences and her vision for the Not Perfect Hat Club when it was still in its relative infancy. The enthusiasm that Jenna and Marty Keltz, who is Jena’s ‘online partener in crime’ and equally shares in the Not Perfect Hat Club vision, is extremely contagious.
You only need to speak to Jena and Marty for a little while to realise just how passionate they both are about putting into place something really positive for the current generation of students around the world. It is this commitment to a global approach that really does set apart what Jenna and Matty do. It is very true that they honestly wish to make a difference in their local communities and help the children that they connect with, but it is the way in which they have embraced contemporary pedagogy and the ability to connect anywhere in the world using modern technology that sets them apart from other well meaning initiatives.
Marty and Jenna can be found in just about any Twitter chat going on! They are two of the most committed educators I know to making online connections. It is through Marty and Jena that I have made some amazing New Connections most notably Beverly Lad, a teacher who I am incredibly impressed by and who has also caught the Not Perfect fever!
Jenna is an established author and I have actually had the privilege of already reading one of her books to my own Grade 3 class. That book was called, Lead with Your Heart. It was part of Jena’s Critter Kin series. The new book, The Not Perfect Hat Club has a similar goal of developing empathy, compassion and self worth within its target audience, our students. One of the first characters you meet is Newton (Sir Issac Oliver Newton – a dog). Newton is a purebred golden retriever. Unfortunately he’s just not quite right to be a champion show dog. This leads to what Newton describes as a catastrophe. The catastrophe was being rejected, teased and left alone by the other dogs and then eventually he was abandoned by his human trainer and taken to the animal control centre. This Sparks a chain of events that leaves Newton on a path to eventually find the place where he belongs. Even if that place is not quite perfect.
Clearly, the healthy message of accepting one’s own faults along with your strength makes us. “Perfectly not perfect,” as Jena would say.
Along with the imminent release of the new book, The Not Perfect Hat Club, Jena and Marty, along with Bev have created a Not Perfect Hat Club blog-it challenge – Click here to see more . I’ll be taking part in The Not Perfect Hat Club blogger challenge and I know there is an open invitation to all other teachers and all students to participate as well!
I hope you enjoy Jena’s new book, The Not Perfect Hat Club as much as I did. As an educator who strongly believes in teaching empathy, this is a wonderful text for you to use!