It has been two years since I last visited my Grandmother’s house in my hometown. She passed away two years ago at the advanced age of 96. During that last visit I took a picture of the fig tree that was growing in her long abandoned garden. I saved that picture to my desktop at work. It is there to remind me of how the fruits of our labors may continue long past the time that we toiled and labored to produce them. You see, Grandma had been confined to a wheelchair and then to her bed in those final years of her well-lived life. Yet, that fig tree was bigger and more fruitful than I remember it from my childhood.
Learning is like Grandma’s fig tree. As educators, our efforts to impact student learning have similar fruits in our students–long past the time that we are privileged to be part of their lives. That is what makes our work as educators so incredibly important—to the children whose lives we are privileged to teach, the families we become a part of for a moment in their lifetime, and to the society that benefits from a child who grows as a learner and produces fruitful contributions to the lives of others in whatever capacity their future holds.
That is why it is so important to work constantly and tirelessly to empower our learners to become leaders of their own learning. In so doing we will enable our learners to cultivate and produce fruit in their lives and the lives of others. Personalized learning is a powerful way to help our students accomplish this.