This is the most difficult editorial I’ve written in thirteen years of writing these 400-word snippets. How often during those years I’ve sat at my keyboard – having put off this final piece in the editorial to-do list until the very last minute – wondering how to fill my half of this page! Now, tapping the keys on my final editorial, I’m wondering how to put it all into so few words.
With retirement looming, I am looking forward to life without deadlines. But as I put the finishing touches on this issue, I can’t help dwelling on the things I will miss.
I will miss the good people at CEA, all of whom have been supportive co-workers, some of whom have become friends.
I will miss the steady ding of mail coming into my inbox from authors across the country – and sometimes around the world. I expect to go through a prolonged period of withdrawal.
I will miss the work of editing, itself, which – despite its reputation as an arcane activity focused on the mysteries of semicolons – is in fact an intimate and broadening experience, immersing the editor into the words and workings of another mind.
I may even miss writing these editorials. They have often forced me to clarify my own thoughts or to dig deeper into the implications of the ideas of others.
Mostly, of course, I will miss the authors themselves – many of you reading this now – who have provided a steady stream of stimulating, challenging, sometimes controversial articles. Always, when I finish my work on an issue of Education Canada, I emerge with a new understanding of some corner of the human condition, a fresh insight into the learning mind, a renewed passion for young people, or a refuelled anger about the inequities that still plague our society and our schools.
When then-CEO of CEA, Penny Milton, first approached me about this job, she had a vision of a magazine that would span the gap between scholarly research journals and the popular press – a publication that was thoughtful, serious, evidence-based – but also accessible to non-academics and grounded in the real world of teaching and learning. For more than a decade, I have returned to that vision whenever I’ve felt myself or the magazine begin to drift.
For all who have contributed – as readers and writers – to making the vision a reality, to creating and supporting a magazine where ideas, evidence, and practice intersect for the benefit of Canada’s young people, I thank you. And so will they.
It’s been an honour to edit Education Canada. But life without deadlines beckons, and I’m eager to see where it leads.