There are days we feel defeated. The full weight of the fight sits heavy upon our chests, and the life is nearly pressed from our lungs as we see all that stands in the way of our making a difference pile one atop the other in an ever growing heap. Policy, politics, system structure, conflicting ideals, fear, ego, tradition, complacency, misunderstanding, apathy, anger, and paradigms all work together to form the formidable roadblocks that stand in the way of that which we so earnestly want to accomplish. And the weight of it all, and the height of it all, and the sheer density of it all blocks our view, and we can no longer see what stands at the end of the road. And in that moment, we despair.
I've been there. I'm willing to wager, we've all been there.
But then there are the moments of perspective. The moments when hope glimmers, and we once again remember why it is we fight for the change we believe in. This past week, I was reminded once again why I believe we should continue pursuing student-centered, relevant, technology-rich experiences for our students. I was reminded by Abel Real, a student at East Carolina University, as he spoke before the Committee on Education and Labor. Take the short five minutes and twenty five seconds to watch his story. It's worth every second.
And that is why we fight. It's why we're willing to risk, to stand up, to strive, to yearn, to cry, to ache, and to feel the pain of frustration as we advocate for what we believe. Because ultimately, it's not about us. It's entirely about them.
I know that technology alone will not accomplish our goals, but partnered with a good teacher or mentor or coach, technology can reach students like Abel Real. And that is what I must remember. I plan to think often of Abel's story, and when the moments of frustration threaten to flood the flame of hope, I will remember that despite all that stands in the way, I can still make a difference. And so can you.
I hope we can all remember this, for is there any greater cause or reason to sacrifice than making a difference in the life of another?