I’m convinced our lives as educators are a series of defining moments, strung together to make us who we are. Maybe it’s that quote by Steve Jobs that says “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards,” but it’s true. We don’t always recognize the dots when they occur. Days go by, weeks pass, and we look back. We realize that the hard moments were about our growth. We realize the people who seemed to be in our way only made us even more focused. The people who reached out? They changed our lives, too. We realize that the huge roadblocks we thought were telling us to consider a different path, were really just there to see how far we were willing to go to make something happen. Because in going that far? We grew. We learned.
These dots? They are the same for our students. We can’t define their learning journeys with test questions and points. Telling a kid what to know and how to know it isn’t going to work. Ever. If it does work, it’s a facade. If someone had told you the easy way around a roadblock, it would have never been a roadblock. Our classrooms, our kids’ learning experiences, our lives, are about a series of dots. Dots that end up connecting one day to lead them to a career, a lifelong passion, to their places in our world.
It’s all about learning. Whether you’re two or sixty two. Whether it’s the best day of your life, or the hardest day. It might be something you hear, a moment you experience, or it might even be a tiny word from a kid in your classroom. The dots are there. Because life, every single day, is about learning. Shouldn’t school be, too?