Monday, May 3, 2010

The answer to success for each child

I tell my students, Janet said, that when I first look at a math problem, I don't know the answer. They are always astonished. I let them know that the only difference between us is that I've solved enough math problems that I know I'll be able to solve this one, too, if I stick with it.

And it struck me - that's it! As educators we're always looking for someone with the answer to success for each child. But the answer is that we need to be confident that we can solve any learning "problem". Although, learning is different for each child, in each school, even each day, if we just stick with it, creatively, persistently, using different tools, asking questions, visualizing, building from what we already know, and relentlessly working together - we'll find a way to educate each child beautifully. We already know how. We've done it before. Often.

So the answer is - we don't know the answer, but it doesn't matter. The answer always changes anyway. What's important: we know how to find the answer.