Do you know that feeling you get when you are teaching yourself something new? It is a mix of excitement, frustration, and then elation. I prefer the elation but to tell you the truth during that frustration part is were the really good stuff takes place. Problem solving, creating, analyzing, applying, synthesizing all happen when you are engaged in an activity that doesn't always feel comfortable but pays off in huge ways when pride in the accomplishment of something longed for is achieved.
My dog is about to have puppies - yeah, that's right, I said puppies. My daughter is positively thrilled, her dad and I are nervous. The dog's gestational timeline does not understand that this is one of the single most hectic times of the school year for me. My life right now is consumed with one word - EVALUATIONS! We had planned for our dog to have puppies one day, just not NOW. When we agreed to start the breeding business I promptly offered up that I would design the website we would use. How hard could it be, right? HAH!
I spent the better part of last weekend consumed with teaching myself how to design, create, and edit our site using a new program called Expression Web. News alert - Melanie does not know the program - yikes! I'll spend sometime this weekend getting the site finished and then posting it to the web (in between checking on the little ones who are due to arrive at any moment). I don't think I did too bad for a first attempt but boy, it sure wasn't the piece of cake I thought it would be. I rationalized, used trial and error, deciphered computer code, wrote and edited content, built the whole thing from a blank white screen. I was excited, frustrated and elated all at the same time!!!!
I was also reminded - reminded of how important it is to teach our students how to be self directed learners. I was driven by a need to know, but where would I be, if along the way I had never been taught to think through problems, not to give up, to search for answers or alternative solutions, to look for help. There will come a time in our students' lives when they will be faced with something challenging, something new and it is absolutely critical that they have the skills to tackle the task and teach themselves how to maneuver through. Self directed learning isn't always easy but it sure is satisfying.
I'll keep you posted on the pups and the website!
Believing is just the beginning...