I used to picture my learning journey as a race. I run to keep up, feeling the need to learn as much as I can to get closer and closer to my finish line. I know I’ll never reach it and that’s fine because I enjoy learning. My issue is that I always feel that the only way to move forward in my race is to have all the answers. That is the only way to get closer to the ribbon at the end.
This morning, I was reflecting on all the inspiring educators who shared their knowledge over the weekend at EdTech Team’s Ontario GAFE Summit and it hit me! I’m not racing to a finish line. My analogy is founded in isolation. This weekend was all about true and powerful collaboration.
My single-lane race transformed into a giant puzzle.
I bring a piece, maybe more than one piece, but so does every educator I have the fortune to meet and learn from.
I’m not yet an expert on how to use IFTTT but someone else is so they bring that piece to my puzzle.
I’m not yet an expert on how to sketchnote but someone else is so they bring that piece to my puzzle.
I’m not yet an expert on how to integrate a green screen or Google Maps or Twitter but others are and they will bring those pieces to my puzzle.
Together, a picture is formed and that is how I will become a better educator.
This isn't to say that I won't one day be able to contribute other pieces of my own but until then, I can feel supported by shared knowledge of my peers who are building my puzzle collaboratively.
For a long time, I was trying to help myself understand that I just had to be patient on my race and that one day, I'd know everything I needed to know.
Now I get it. I don't have to know everything! (I know this isn't a revolutionary concept and I'm sure I always knew this but there is a difference between knowing it and really believing it to the point where the belief gives you confidence.)
What I do have to know is that learning is a collaborative effort.
I will continue to bring pieces to my puzzle and seek out other inspiring educators for their pieces too.