Saturday, 15 June 2019


I think I've talked a lot about how online connections and my online PLN have made me a better teacher, pushed me to think deeper and brought so many new ideas and opportunities to my classroom.  Between Twitter and VoicEd Radio...well the learning has been expanding at an exponential rate.  But it's been more than just learning, it's been the birth of some pretty amazing professional and personal relationships.  I haven't met a lot of these folks in real life...I haven't met hardly any of these people in real life.  But, the bond we've formed is real.  The friendships are real.  These people are my tribe: my biggest supporters, my trusted and honest critics, and in some cases, my kindred spirits.

Leanne Hanson and I met through VoicEd Radio and Twitter.  To say that I had found a soul sister doesn't do our relationship justice.  If my life was a Soap Opera, it would be akin to finding my evil twin.  Except we were both evil twins.  We instantly clicked.  We tweeted, we DM'd, we Google Hangout'd, we guested on each other's podcasts, we #MADPD'd, we shared resources, we told stories from our lives, we sent each other the craziest gifs, we engaged in bizarre, yet loving - social media terrorism attacks on our friends and we made up ridiculous hashtags (She was much better at this than I was).  We talked teaching, music and poetry.  We got silly.  We LOL'd...a lot.

We talked about meeting irl one day.  It would have been great to do that.  I would have loved to see her home and meet her family in Queensland.  I can imagine there would have been a big welcoming hug.  There would have been jokes and laughter and likely a fair bit of whiskey.  But an irl meeting wasn't really necessary to us.  We were able to connect digitally as if we were in the same room.  I didn't think of her as "this teacher on the other side of the planet."  She was simply, my friend, Leanne.

Leanne lost her battle with cancer this week at the age of 45.  My heart goes out to her husband, Grant, and her children Michael and Elizabeth.   

I am flattened by this loss. 

Educator, poet, podcaster, dreamer, friend. 

Links to Leanne Hanson's podcasts, poetry and more:

Leanne as a Guest on the podcasts of her VoicEd family:

Her published poetry volumes:
Odd Verse Effects
Ghost Dreaming

Leanne's Bitmoji - one of my favs from the many she sent me.

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