Never … like, ever … fall for the trap of thinking that education is something that you deliver. Learning isn’t a pizza, an app, on online purchase, a new washing machine or a used car.
Learning isn’t a product at all. Done right, it’s a transformational process. Through this metamorphic experience, we don’t merely acquire tools and skills. We change. We transform. We evolve.
Just last week I received some wonderful news related to my experience as a primary school Teacher … many, many years ago. One of my former students, Haylee, had a baby with another former student and her now husband Kyle.
Haylee hasn’t been handed or delivered anything, other than some of the toughest cards that life can deal a young girl. When Haylee was a student in Year 6 and in my care, her Mum went on a short holiday with a friend to Bali.
Bronwyn was killed when terrorists struck the Sari Club in 2002.
It was the toughest teaching I ever did and I can, quite literally, only imagine how hard it was for Haylee. But we supported her and put a culture of support, optimism and expectation about Haylee that we hoped would put her on a positive trajectory.
That’s what great education really does. It changes work and life trajectories.
I’m so proud that Haylee’s trajectory took her beyond the potential of a behaviourally destructive adolescence and adulthood. Instead, Haylee completed midwifery qualifications to focus on life coming into, rather than out of, the world.
If Haylee can achieve these things with the cards she was dealt. What excuse do we have not to provide this trajectory changing opportunity to the people we lead?
I’m so proud of Haylee and Kyle. I’m delighted that they’re parents to one of Australia’s newest citizens. That baby boy is in good hands.
And I’m also a tiny bit proud of the tiny role I played in that achievement. I’m inspired to make more of it happen. It seems my trajectory has been altered by Haylee’s education too.