Lessons Learned While Hiking the Alps: Always Last
Hiking in the Alps with my family last summer left me with many lessons about life. The views were out of this world awesome, but a view that I came to accept was the view of the backs of my adult children far ahead of me. You see, their legs are longer and more youthful, and this 56 year old woman, out to prove something (read here), just couldn't keep up.
My children were very patient with me and even polite when I reached them at a stopping point. “Mom you are doing great.” They would say, but I was still always last. It didn't bother me much, except those few times that I finally caught up to them at a designated point and just as I got there they would say, OK , enough resting, let's go. Even though I had just seemingly arrived!
All these last place finishes made me think about the students in our classrooms who are always lagging behind. Do I leave them with an eternal “view of everyone’s back?” Do they feel like they are always trying to catch up, or worse giving up because they can never keep up? How do I change my practice so that everyone finishes joyfully at the same time?
These are the questions that I have been pondering since my return. Yes, we need to differentiate but we also need to keep our eyes on how we can give each other the sense that we have all arrived together. That is the challenge!