To what standard do I and should I hold myself to concerning my own learning? Do I seek and highlight my own bright spots as I do for my learners? Hmm… What assumptions do my colleagues and I make about our learning as members of our school? We are learners too. Do we see each other and ourselves as learners? Do we treat each other and ourselves with the same care, kindness, and respect that we give to our young learners? How often do we affirm the learning of our colleagues? ourselves?
The following is a copy of a note I sent to our faculty today to hopefully remind us all that we are learners. We celebrate learning progress! It is not about how fast learning occurs or how my learning compares to another’s.
A few of you know that I am running. On May 20, 2012 I started a 14-week running program to train for a 10K. I am currently working through week 11 of the training program. (Note: May 20th was more than 14 weeks ago, many more.) Here’s the graph of my run this morning:
After my warm-up walk, I ran for 25 minutes, walked for 5 minutes, and ran another 15 minutes. The green in the graph above shows my run, which is really a slow, plodding jog, and the red shows my walks.
To reflect on my progress, I picked a day close to the start of our faculty pre-planning. Here is the graph from my run on August 6, 2012:
I still cannot run a 10K, but look at my progress! Yes, it is taking me longer than “normal,” and I am struggling to improve. Progress is progress. It is not about how I compare to Brian or Erin. It is about my personal growth. Often, I am discouraged by what I cannot do, but holy cow, look at what I can do today that I absolutely could not do in August.
As I left yesterday afternoon, Jeff M. caught me to tell me, once again – ‘cause he does it often – about the progress and growth of our community with regard to technology. In our conversation he repeatedly praised our community members’ work, effort, and learning. He sees lots of bright spots in your work.
Learning is about progress not pace.