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The Adventure of Learning

School is always such an adventure for all of us – students, families, and staff alike. The dictionary defines adventure as:

1. “Exciting experience an exciting or extraordinary event or series of events”

What could be more exciting than opening up the world through learning? It is like climbing a mountain, with the trail rocky and hard at some points, and smooth and inviting at others with the ultimate reward of a view of the world beyond.

2. “Bold undertaking - an undertaking involving uncertainty and risk”

Each time we try something new, we are assuming some risk; the risk of feeling a bit uncomfortable while we practice. As we climb a mountain for the first time, we may not know how long the steep sections are, or how much further to the top. We may find ourselves questioning whether we are up to the climb as our legs and feet grow tired.

Whether we are learning to ride a bike, read a book, or learn to add, we will have a time when we will be uncertain. We may fall off our bike; we may stumble over new words and sounds, and ideas. Each of us needs to be reminded and supported along the way. The knowledge that each of us has been through a time when we have stumbled and fallen is invaluable. There are times when students seem to think that they should be able to do things perfectly the first time, and it is our job to remind them that school is the place to practice to become more skilled.

3. “Involvement in bold undertakings – the participation or willingness to participate in things that involve uncertainty and risk”

The willingness to participate and get involved in bold undertakings is essential to our growth, as individuals and as a community. If we do not attempt to climb the mountains before us, whatever those mountains may be, we won’t see the view from the top, but more importantly, we may not discover our own inner strengths; our own capacity to overcome a challenge, which is one of the most important lesson we can learn.

Our children should know that the participation in bold undertakings and uncertainty is a process in growing towards their own hopes and dreams. It is a process that starts out slowly and will involve some obstacles. It is important that they understand that each of us has experienced some challenges in order to grow stronger and more capable. No one can do that for us. Sharing the stories of the difficulties we’ve experienced in our own learning will help our children realize that each of us have had similar experiences and make them feel more confident in undertaking the challenges ahead of them.

As a community, we can offer hope and encouragement, we can teach and coach, knowing that ultimately, the practice and success is in the hands of each of learner. Our adventure as adults is in helping children to grow up through our encouragement, teaching and coaching, as they do the work of learning.