I recently returned from my vacation for this summer. My wife and I spent 12 days on the road together. It was an awesome time. We went to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison IN, Knoxville TN, Charleston SC, Savannah GA, Nashville TN and then back to home. We enjoyed over 54 hours and 2500 miles in the car together. We saw beautiful waterfalls, spectacular mountains, and wondrous beaches. However, you do not travel that far and not make at least one “wrong turn”.
We made one “wrong turn” in North Carolina leaving the Smokey Mountains (actually I think Google Maps gave us that wrong turn) that sent us on a 45-minute detour before we doubled back to the correct route. We were able to see some beautiful scenery because of that “wrong turn”. We would never have seen it if we had turned the right way first.
As I was recalling our trip with my pastor yesterday I started to think about those “wrong turns”. Are they really wrong turns, or an opportunity for new experiences? Then I started to think about school and “wrong turns” there. When we try new things for the betterment of our teaching and the benefit of the students, and it does not go the way we thought; is it a “wrong turn” or a chance for new opportunities. What can we learn from it, what new experience can grow from it, what new wonder will we get to see that we would have not seen if we did not take that turn? When I was a teacher I always told my students a mistake is not a mistake until we fail to learn from it. Wrong turns are not wrong turns when excellent things come of it. I once read the quote “it is better to try and fail then to never try for fear of failure”. I am not sure who said this to give them the proper credit, but I think it is very applicable. Don’t be afraid of that wrong turn. Take it. See what is out there for us and for the students. You may just stumble across something that works for those students at that time, and then the wonder and beauty of what they can do will come through.
Until next time……..enjoy the wonder and beauty of wrong turns.