|Adaptation of above image illustrating an Internet meme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
"You let us go down the road of failure so we could find success," said Blakelee -
one of my beautiful students. I had asked them to find a mindmapping program that they could edit simultaneously.
They took the first app that came up in the search. I knew it wasn't collaborative but I let them go down a 20 minute trail in the wrong direction. They backed up and started reading reviews of apps and finally found mindmeister.
When we debriefed on this unit (aptly about search) they said they would never forget that they shouldn't always trust the first result.
I asked, "Why?" and Blakelee said it.
"You let us go down the road of failure so we could find success."
It was so profound that I asked if I could quote her and she said -
"if you use my first name, I want to be mentioned by name."
Sure, Blakelee. Your maturity is beyond most and your words taught me something I hadn't seen before. When I step back and let you and other students make mistakes and help guide you to find the answers yourselves - learning becomes permanent and yours. You never forget, and isn't that what teaching is all about.
You and your classmates rock my world on a daily basis. I love you dearly. I'll show you this post in the next week and maybe you'll understand that teaching you all is the calling of my life. I also want you to understand that you and I are both put here on this planet for a purpose.
Our purpose is to help and encourage others. You encouraged me by saying this. You encourage others by allowing me to share it. Though surrounded by corn fields and pecan groves, we can reach out and help others throughout the world have a classroom like ours - a privilege I wish for every teacher and student on this globe.
It is OK to fail - sometimes the road to success starts with failure.