I look at this every morning when I work before sunrise in my study… The word “imagine” next to the last golf ball my dad ever hit. It’s pretty much all the inspiration I need to start the day.
When you were in our district today and you said your dad died a few years ago, I immediately connected with you. My dad, my hero, died last year. He was a man who reimagined everything. He was the ultimate “forever learner”–from Harvard to the hospital to our home–he never stopped learning. Learning was his joy, and because of him, it’s my joy, too.
And if I learned anything from you today, it was just that–if we ever stop learning, we might as well be dead. What difference does life make if we are stuck in some distant place, not able to apply history to the present and let it drive the pursuit of a better future?
My dad surely told me a million things over the course of 30+ years. What I remember is a handful of words and a lifetime of lessons he taught with his humility, his kindness, his brilliance, his service.
Our students desperately need forever learners, unafraid and unashamed to love learning deeply and passionately. Not just the learning of the library, but also the learning of Twitter and Instagram and Flipgrid and so many other things not yet known or networked or imagined.
The students we serve need us to be brave and humble and resilient. They need us to be present and engaged and willing to put ourselves on the line for their good. These are the kind of adults who build a beautiful future for the future.
I am quite certain that like today, tomorrow I will fail in many ways. I will make it a point to fail forward, though, taking the lessons won, reflecting, and moving on to something better and more beautiful for those I serve.
And that’s my hope for you and every student and educator—may you never stop learning, however the lesson may come. Life is too short to stall out in the status quo.
Keep on keeping on,