I’ve observed some remarkable moments of heroism in the studios lately, and I feel compelled to pass along a few snapshots. I find that these moments recalibrate my spirit and fortify my resolve toward the less-traveled road of a learner-driven education.
Yesterday afternoon I walked into the studio to be greeted by a beaming young hero who was overflowing with pride at his yo-yo creation. Without prompting, he proceeded to tell me about his two initial attempts, why they failed, and how he addressed the problem in his now functional yo-yo, which he eagerly showed me did indeed work.
Later this week, I was struck by the smile of accomplishment from another young hero who, after weeks of effort, earned his math facts fluency badge. This is a particularly difficult badge to earn, and he had gotten close several times. It was a unique moment of satisfaction, not one of a simple pleasure or a gift that had been bestowed upon him, but it was satisfaction that had been earned through his own persistence. This kind of satisfaction is much harder to come by in our culture of instant gratification and participation trophies, and I could tell that it was uniquely meaningful.
To the more cynically-minded, these moments may seem nothing more than a child’s toy or a few simple math facts. But to those of us who are willing to look beneath the surface of things, we will find that the mindset and character being cultivated in these moments is the foundation of everything that our young heroes will do in their lives, whether that be academic, athletic, artistic, entrepreneurial, or something else. For the process is more important than the product, and who they are becoming in the midst of their activities matters more than the activity itself.
Here’s to the journey…
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