There is always something to be learned. I know that I am annoyingly positive and optimistic in most situations, but I remain steadfast in my belief that any occurrence, negative interaction, surprising outcome or even discussion over coffee has something that can be taken away as a learning opportunity, change in mindset, or complete change in direction of actions. Always. Sometimes you need to look for it a little more than others, sometimes you need that positive friend to find it and point it out to you, but there is always an opportunity to grow, and thereby to learn, from anything that happens in life.
In a much more direct example, I just spent the past two weeks traveling and learning, in New Orleans, LA and Austin, TX. I was fortunate to be accepted into the learning cohort for 4.0Schools Essentials Workshop, where we spent 3 intense days talking about our ideas to change education, or life experiences for today's youth. We refined our ideas, worked on our business models, and came out with concrete next steps. It was amazing and in just three days, I learned and worked on so much more than I would have known to do on my own (see previous post on "Founding by Example"). Not only did I immerse myself at 4.0, but I also used the time in the different area to visit and learn from schools there. I met with a head office member of KIPP New Orleans, I visited NOLA MicroSchools, and then I went on to Austin for meetings and spent time visiting Acton Academy West Austin, Longview MicroSchool and Austin Montessori. All of these schools were different from one another, but more importantly, they are different from your traditional school model. There was something that I could, and did, learn from seeing each school in action. I am so thankful that they were all so welcoming and open to sharing their model in action.
I have much learning to now ruminate on, to distill down into what it means for me and my school planning, and while doing so, I also know that I will continue to learn more from my own surroundings, conversations and education endeavors. The learning curve continues to trend upwards, while I am sprinting along it, gathering all that I can, and making sense of it on the fly. I can't say I remember every detail of what I have seen, discussed or learned, nor that it will help me to create a flawless model, but I can say that the learning continues, and that I am fully aware and happy that this will always be the case. Nothing is perfect, but it can always be learned from.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!