The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.


A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit United Technologies Center in Bangor, ME with the E3 Peer Group, and I have to say that as an educator, it was absolutely inspiring.

They offer high school programs in everything from nursing to welding, and the students there were really engaged.  The staff was incredibly passionate.  And the administration were extremely proud and spoke so highly of the staff and students.

One great little cultural proverb that I took away from this experience is, as the title of this post goes, ‘the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time’.  Sometimes as an educator it feels like meaningful change is really slow, and this put it into perspective.  Seth Godin would say ‘drip, drip drip’ – consistent, meaningful and concerted effort pays off.

Some other great nuggets I picked up from the day:

  • ‘You want to get education as close to real life as possible’
  • ‘I haven’t seen too many hands not connected to a brain’ – in reference to students who are typically assigned the stereotype of ‘good with their hands’
  • ‘The scarcest of resources is time.  How we use this effectively with students is key’
  • People pick colleges faster than they pick their first cars. (I found this shocking, and then wasn’t actually surprised when I stopped to consider it)
  • In reference to teachers as artists: ‘They don’t tell the kids what to see, they just tell them where to look’

I’m so grateful for this inspiring experience.

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