Have you ever noticed when a word is brought into your radar in meaningful way you hear it everywhere? For example, last night, in the college class I teach for future educators, someone remarked, "Ever since you told us about Twitter, it's everywhere!" I smiled to myself because Twitter has been there for a long time and it has been everywhere....but it wasn't connected to meaning and grounded in reality for those students. I have been on Twitter for almost a year and I think I was late to jump on the bandwagon. So, what brought that strange word Twitter to life for the college students is that I talked about it and demonstrated the power it held in education.
Another example is the word, "Journey." Sure, I had heard it my entire life....perhaps hundreds of times. But, when I read the book, "The North Star" by Peter H. Reynolds, it was life changing. I realized that the book had a very deep meaning in my life and we truly were all on a Journey. It impacted me so much, that I named this blog TJ on a Journey! So, what's the point here?? Well, after reading that book, which contained all words I had heard and read a million times, the word Journey was forever changed. The word contained a deeper meaning for me and I started noticing it EVERYWHERE! It is used in books, commercials, TV shows, movies and 'real' life. Now, the word jumps off the page if I am reading. The word held a significant and powerful meaning for me and I noticed it a lot more.
All of this led me to look at the big picture in education.... What words are we leading kids to connect to outside of our classrooms??? It can be a heady or scary thought.... What concepts could we teach better if we could get kids to connect on an emotional level? What dreams could we lift up or shut down? What JOURNEY could we send them on?
I certainly don't have the answers to any of those questions.... but I am going to spend the rest of my days trying to find ways to help my students see the big, beautiful world that being passionate about learning and creativity can open. I might just read "The North Star" to them again to help launch them on a wonderful Journey. Maybe they will start looking at their own journey and perhaps make choices that lead them on an a more rewarding path.
This blog post is not meant as a commercial, but, by the way, "The North Star" is being rereleased on its tenth anniversary. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It was life changing for me and it just might be for you. After all, it's all about the journey....
If you get motivated to purchase the book, use code AMBSHAY at www.fablevision.com for 10% off.