Be it in the classroom, conference room or boardroom, my why has been and always will remain the same: connection. I believe that we learn best when we fell a connection, either to the content or the person involved.
Too often, we introduce rather than connect. We tee up information, offering generic matter-of-fact statements. We issue directives. We announce initiatives. We state objectives. Simply put, we point to dots.
And when we point, we exclude.
By nature we’re hardwired for connection. In fact, this need is found across species and is a key principle to the biological concept of imprinting: the strong attraction to the which we associate with belonging. When we see ourselves within situations, we quickly become invested and purpose filled.
I can remember the first time a student asked me “WHY do we need to know this?” like it was yesterday. I was teaching 8th grade English — you can likely imagine the student’s body language and tone of voice. I quickly explained the importance of pathos through his lens, noting his rationale of “necessity” as he campaigned his parents for the *then* iPhone 3. Chandler immediately smiled, gave a quick not, finding relevance.
When those connections are made, we find ourselves deeply motivated — to learn, to create to transform, to be.
My why was, and is, and forever will be to find, build and inspire connections. So, how about you — what’s your why? Let’s see how many dots we can connect.
Brianna Hodges is a practitioner of purposeful pedagogy, learning enthusiast and passionate change agent. She finds ways for learners of all ages and stages to connect curiosity with wonder. Recognized as Education Dive’s 2018 K12 Administrator to Watch and 2017 Texas EdTech of the Year, Bri also serves as National Advisor and Spokesperson for Future Ready Instructional Coaches. Catch up with Bri online at briannahodges.com and on social media @bhodgesEDU.
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