“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
On this day, we reflect on the attributes that brought an improbability to reality. In honoring the exemplary will for something better, this celebration also embodies the challenges that were accompanied with this nation’s distinctive declaration to pursue independence. In this recognition, we acknowledge that the roots of change are found in the courage and commitment that accompanies a vision of possibility. When we look to the past to inform our future we find a mindset that is fostered through an introspective nature and a will to overcome challenges with applied imagination. From our vantage point, the tenets of freedom are the essence of learning — a never ending process towards balance and purpose. It is in this spirit that we reflect on the journey from which emergent threads of thought brought about the possibility that resides in S.A.G.E.
Almost thirty years ago, as two forward-thinking facilitators of learning, we dedicated ourselves to the art of education. Unknown to one another, each of us set out to make a difference in this noble profession. Immersing ourselves in opportunities for growth, intent on contributing to society by meeting the needs of an ever-changing educational landscape. With determination and confidence, we secured positions within the elementary school of our youth, providing us a unique opportunity to give back to the community that played such an important role in our formative years.
Eager to engage the institution, our individual paths converged as we journeyed through the experiences of the hierarchical system. Even in the early stages of our careers, a strident belief in the capacity of the learner signified a unique thread of commonality. An understanding that has fostered a shared professional commitment integral to the optimism that frames our adaptive approach to an honorable craft. It was this entry point that has afforded us the ability to pursue endeavors which embrace the innovative thought essential for transformational growth.
Grounded in an aspirational view, our years of collaborative efforts, have provided a keen awareness of the unifying theme that has solidified our path. In particular, that the essence of our charge extended beyond the constructs of a linear approach and into applications of meaningful progress. History has illustrated the importance life experiences serve to bring about such clarity. If we choose to examine our assumptions, actions, and environments closely the opportunities to meet a purpose is uncovered. Dr. Maria Montessori spoke about the importance of the prepared teacher authentically looking inward, and placing ego aside in order to truly place the child before themselves. Within all relationships, individuals have the capacity to recognize when they are truly cared for and that their growth is of importance to the individuals connected to them. Many of the imaginative minds that risked it all two-hundred and forty-five years ago understood that the moment was bigger than them. This acknowledgement became the impetus to proceed towards the unknown.
Imagine learning environments, that embraced the possibility of failure and traversed towards the unknown where the potential for possibility resides. A space that created the psychological security to explore and develop a worldview. What steps would a courageous set of thinkers need to take in order for learners to internalize their actions, thoughts, and beliefs? What commitment would be required to bring about a sense of meaning and purpose? When will the importance of self-awareness guide thinkers towards the intrinsically motivated effort needed to grow as resilient, lifelong learners.? What can inspire shifts towards the freedom inherent in learning? Embedded in such an inquiry lie the foundational themes that frame the vision of S.A.G.E.