Bumping through potholes on dusty roads, traversing rocky gorges or passing salt bush hour after hour through central Australia in an old Land Rover with my family were valuable lessons from the ‘school of life’ as a kid. Three lively boys in the back seat learnt to travel, observe, share, pack, unpack, appreciate simple comforts and not ask “are we there yet?” We learnt to value the journey of the day as much as the destination each night.
Dr Carol Dweck, demonstrates that a growth mindset is linked to the belief that we can all grow our intelligence and we can guide students toward embracing growth in schools. Dweck highlights the value of adults and children in schools being learners and employing the power of ‘yet’. As we engage in a learning journey, it’s OK to ‘fail forward’ and not understand ‘yet’. A future focus is upheld through using the language of ‘not yet’, believing that learning is ongoing and that with effort and a positive approach, individual improvement and growth is possible. Are we there? Not yet.
Professor John Hattie, through meta-analysis, identifies the great significance of teachers and school staff holding the collective belief that they have the ability to positively affect student achievement and learning outcomes. This shared belief in collective efficacy is powerful and evident when learners are open to growth and places every learner at the centre of school improvement initiatives. Are we there? Not yet.
Jesus is a learner and a traveller too. Many times, we share in the story of His walking and sailing journeys. Deep empathy for each disciple and the people He encounters is a critical element of the effectiveness of Jesus’ ministry of teaching and shared learning. Ongoing discovery, growth and learning shapes the daily journey for each of us. In simple moments and emotionally complex situations alike, Jesus demonstrates the power of ‘yet’. Jesus lives out the belief that all people are special, talented and able to learn for life. Jesus walks with each of us on our journey as we continue to learn and lead improvement. Are we there? Not yet.
Blessings as we serve, lead and learn together.