The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Learning From Life's Successes and Failures

We have had several folks thank us for sharing our experiences here. Sharing what we have learned with others was part of our motivation for beginning this blog. Learning is what life is all about. Whether it be in a school setting, a garden setting, under the hood of a vehicle or at the side of a grandparent as they reminisce about how they did things many years ago. I can't picture a day of life going by that I am not reading about something or doing something that I can learn from, whether I am successful or not.

Beautiful zinnias and marigolds intermingled with grass and weeds

Many people do not get to see the slices of society that walk through school house doors every weekday morning during the school year. Frank and I had an administrator many years ago that made a statement that has stuck with us - "Society walks through the door every morning." It truly does. Not all of society values the lessons learned from successes and failure.
Cheddar cheese with holes. It didn't work out.

I am a special education teacher. Most of my career has been spent with students from kindergarten through fifth grade. One of the most important things I try to instill in my students is how wonderful and special they are - even if they never learn to read, spell or do math. You see, who they are is what is truly important. They have to learn to deal with failures each and every day throughout their entire career at school. How many of you would want to go into a situation each and every day and fail over and over and over, year after year after year. Would you do it? Would you quit trying? Some do.

 'The Grape Fiasco'. That was definitely a learning experience.

So, back to learning from successes and failures. That is life. Life is a series of learning opportunities. Some of them exciting and wonderfully rewarding. Some of them just don't quite pan out. And some are just dismal failures and quite disappointing. Can you learn from them all? Absolutely! They just don't all carry the same amount of 'neato mosquito!' power. 

The herb bed flooded in the spring and it felt like all that work was wasted, but it wasn't.

The motto in my classroom this year is "Knowledge is our power!" Let's take that a step further, out of the classroom, and into our lives. What we know, what we are learning everyday increases our ability to be self-sufficient, confident and gives our lives more meaning and depth. There is a reason I continually encourage you to learn something new that will benefit your family, friends and neighbors. The power gained from learning can never be taken from you. If there comes a time when all else is gone, you have what you know and can do within you - always. 

Sometimes a beautiful head of broccoli is so full of worms it is better to feed it to the chickens.

Cherish the ability you have to learn. Not all learning comes easily to many of us. We all have areas where we excel and areas in which we struggle. Some, like the students I teach, struggle more than others. I am blessed every day to be in their presence. My students' successes and failures teach me something new everyday. So when I come home tired from another day's work and still have my work at home to do, there are times I would like to just sit. But I love the work I do at home and the resiliency and strength it gives me.

Sometimes the road to success is not apparent, even when it is right in front of us.

Remember, knowledge is our power and we can increase that power each and every day, whether we succeed or fail. We still learn.

Until next time - Fern


  1. Fern, Thank You!

    Your post this morning touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for working with those who need special help and attention. Your heart of caring and love shines through for them.

    We have several family members on the Autism Spectrum. Most are high functioning, but life is still very difficult and wrought with failures for them, which over so many years has made them afraid to try anything new. Encouragement and patience are key in helping them.

    What we did not realize is that Learning Disabilities frequently run generationally in families. After looking back and doing some research on my husbands paternal line, we found that to be true.

    May God bless you abundantly for all you do.

  2. Lovely post. I work in a school as well, and yes, I agree with your husband; society does walk through that door every morning--at least the snapshot of it in the area in which we live. I think you are a wonderful teacher, just by reading what you wrote. Too many children live their lives and grow up believing that there's nothing good about them, because their parents tell them so. Having someone say the opposite can be very powerful.