Today is May 19, 2020 and do I have an introspective little offering and potential awakening for you!
The other night I took my evening stroll around one of the bridges in Ormond Beach and as always, paid attention to how the sun light played across the structure.
It was a gorgeous night and I was taking all of nature in! From the sun dappled water, the breeze brushing across my skin, and the shadows of the palm trees rippling across the sidewalk.
I gazed in wonder at the simple beauty of it all. It was in that moment I reflected on how partial I have always been to the physical structure of bridges.
I truly believe it is because one of the best pieces of advice my dad ever gave me (among many) was, “it is our role to build bridges and make connections.”
I recognize how this philosophy has become embedded in all that I am drawn to and all my life includes.
My desire to build relationships and help others make their own necessary responsible transitions in life.
Whatever that may be.
So I make connections.
Education doesn’t just happen in a classroom and an educator doesn’t teach a person what to think…we teach them how to be thinkers.
Often that includes teaching alternative ways to think, so one sees new and old problems through fresh eyes, can choose to seek out answers, enlightening themselves and help them take those first vulnerable steps, encouraging them, building them up, so that eventually they find the strength and fortitude to find their own way.
So they may build their own bridges, fresh and forward in their own life.
Stronger and better then before…
So they may cross it.
We are only meant to be with our students for a short time…
We know this and so, we walk with them right up to the base of their bridge…and from the shoreline, we wave goodbye to our beloved students who are off on new journeys…
There are some occasions we may go so far as the top of the bridge, to catch a glimpse of the other side but it’s rare we actually cross their bridge with them.
That’s actually never our intention.
Their journey isn’t our journey.
And we know this going in to it.
Educators are quite skilled at building these amazing relationships and we are equally skilled at letting go.
And it isn’t always easy…because we are all humans and humans have emotions…and the best educators allow themselves to be vulnerable with their students.
Otherwise the connection wouldn’t be genuine.
We immerse ourselves in many processes.
There is one process in particular that has great impact.
It’s called “Gradual Release of Responsibility”
You do collectively
You do alone.
This ability to throw our very being into another person’s growth process while still holding firmly on to ourselves…knowing at each phase…how to gently push them off while delicately extracting ourselves, little by little.
Ultimately leaving them with strong memories and the confidence to be the capable thinkers and learners they are, to be able to handle any situation as they move forward into life.
It is a practice we have had a lot of opportunity to perfect but we always carry a small piece forward with us.
Once our time is done.
So we can apply all that we have learned with each individual student or collectively.
As we start again with new students.
Because in truth, we grow too.
So for today, May 19, 2020…do the following…
Meditate on the bridges in your life, past and present!
Take a moment to reflect, how “gradual release of responsibility” has been a part of your life and you didn’t even know it?
Has it made an unknown impact?
Break apart how much it is truly embedded in your own life?
How do you apply it without even the slightest bit of recognition?
If it’s there, then chances are…it was a person of impact to your life that was behind that bridge building process and gradually released you too.
I celebrate the bridges of my life, past and present!
I celebrate Gradual Release of Responsibility and its application, not just as an educational process but a process that is applicable to all of life!
Once you’ve reflected…celebrate the bridges of your life and the unrecognized impact of gradual release!
As always,Go in love,