Wisdom from the Boss

A Few Years ago, I read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. I spend a lot of time in my vehicle and I listen to a lot of books on the Audible app. What was cool about this book is that Bruce narrates it…nice!

He shared some nuggets of wisdom that stop and made me think. He describes himself as having “extravagant ambition”. Imagine having ambition that is extravagant. It is out of bounds, over the top, wildly impractical ambition. Now imagine if we could help people peek into their own souls to tap into their own extravagant ambition. Now that would be fun! Another nugget that has made me ponder some things is: “Sometimes it ain’t what your doing, but what happens while your doing it, that matters”. At work I worry that I get caught up in creating or developing programs for kids and school districts and forget to look for “what is happening while we are doing it”.

At the most basic level, learning is built on a relationship created between people. We can differentiate instruction, form cooperative learning groups, and rearrange the classroom, or any of a number of other things to try to “engage” students…and these are all good things. However, the magic is not in the dry, technocratic strategies used by teachers. The magic is in the relationship that is built between people that allows learning to take place. A learning relationship occurs naturally in the “real world” and we don’t even think about it. We should approach our relationships with kids in the same manner and not overthink it. Build the relationship!

About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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