In November of 2019, I wrote a post titled “The Needed Struggle of Learning,” discussing some of the struggles and insecurities I was having with recording my podcast. November 2019 seems like ten years ago, and to think that making a podcast would be my biggest challenge of 2020 seems foolish now! What a year it has been with up and so many downs.
But in either sense, the struggle that ranges from those things that seem simple to those that seem complicated, are all crucial to growth.
That is learning.
It is why we do what we do and why school is not a checklist of things to get through but should be focused on helping others to navigate whatever comes their way. My friend AJ Juliani shares this quote, and it always resonates:
Preparing our students (and ourselves) for anything is a crucial element of the process and doesn’t always travel on an upward trajectory. We often celebrate the “ups” of our journey, but in the “downs” is where the majority of the learning happens, if we choose to find the lessons. Through that process, we can either learn to forge ahead or switch directions altogether. Either way, moving forward is the goal.
In the original post, I shared these three strategies for growing through the discomfort of new learning:
- It is good to struggle because it is pushing me out of my comfort zone.
- Modeling that struggle might help someone else who is going through the same thing or something similar.
- If I stick with what I am learning now, it will get better over time.
2020, whether we like it or not, is the year of the learner.
I am doing my best to grow through the change to become better personally and professionally. It is often hard to find those lessons of learning when we struggle most, but if we do, the “learning” is something that will stick with us long past the discomforting experience and make us better in the future.