Although I am not blogging and tweeting about education as much as I used to, I will always remember and value many people I “got to know” through these Twitter conversations and blogging. I still look forward to following their work ahead. Even if some of these people stop tweeting and blogging, I know they will still be busy trying to make a difference in education and in the lives of children.
Needless to say, I was so sad to hear about Joe Bower’s death. I didn’t think I would write a post about him since I struggled with whether it was my place to do so. It is his family and their loss that matter the most. Yet, I felt unsettled that I wasn’t writing something to honour him or say the thanks that I didn’t say enough.
Recently I read Jennifer Marten’s tribute post to Joe Bower, Mourning a Friend I Never Met. She was also hesitant to write a tribute. Her words matched many of my thoughts. Her post nudged me to write as well.
Like Jennifer, I first connected with Joe on a few topics. I followed the changes to standardized testing in Alberta through Joe’s posts and it made my own personal stand against standardized testing a little less lonely. Joe reached out to so many… supported the voices of many, and he could be counted on to take a stand for children. His blog is so real, rich and well researched. It was so kind of him to reblog one of my posts to do with Ontario’s standardized testing on his blog. His wise words and influence extended over many borders. It is reassuring to read so many tributes and see the intentions of others to ensure that his impact continues. I am thankful to have known his work and efforts. I am now following the Facebook tribute page respectfully set up by Chris Wejr.
I hope the tributes bring peace and comfort to Joe Bower’s family and friends for years to come.