Meaning markers and routes to success

Are we intentionally designing learning experiences that highlight and utilize meaning markers?

Meaning markers are what point us in the direction of opportunity and possibility, steer us toward a state of positivity and full engagement, and highlight crucial intellectual, emotional, and social resources. (Achor, 85 pag.)

Whether the topic is fractions, commas, constitutional amendments, the color wheel, squats, the predicate imperfect, or a host of other content specific essentials, are we embedding opportunities that point learners in the direction of opportunity and possibility? Are we facilitating experiences that inspire full engagement?

Sometimes we haven’t highlighted enough meaning markers and thus can see only a limited number of routes to success. (Achor, 66 pag.)

I wonder if we see ourselves as “feeder” teachers.  Do I teach what I teach simply because they will need it later? I don’t know about you, but if I don’t need it right now, I can learn it later.  I wonder if this might be why some learners do not retain what they learn.  Is success in the next class the primary meaning marker offered?

Or, can I show a need, application, or connection for what we are learning? Do I know enough about my learners to use examples and ask questions that offer context and meaning to them?   Do I know enough about my curriculum?  In our team meetings, do we discuss meaning markers? Are we willing to experiment with order of presented content to engage with others?

A lack of meaning in our reality robs us not only of that joy but also of our ability to use our multiple intelligences to increase our success. (Achor, 65 pag.)

How many routes to success are offered? How many meaning markers can we find and use to illuminate possibilities for learners?


Achor, Shawn (2013-09-10). Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change. Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


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