Steve Jobs (2005) is attributed as saying, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
When we speak about connecting the dots in education, we are talking about helping our students make connections. We want use their background knowledge to help them make sense of what they are learning today, so they will be able to build on their knowledge and experiences in the future. It can be a challenge to teach students who are either missing some dots or don’t make those connections.
When we continually consider the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (Collins), it helps us and our students to stay focused on the end goal. From my home in Louisiana, I can get in my car and head north to eventually reach Canada, but it makes sense to use a road map. Then I can keep my destination in mind as I drive through cities and towns along the way.
Our stakeholders were recently thrilled that we received a school score of a C. Apparently we have never been a C school in history. In a leadership meeting, we looked at data and realized we made the cutoff by 1%. We might’ve made a C as a fluke, but we are running with it! We are trying to remind students of how they are changing the tone of the school and changing history. Some are motivated by this, but some really don’t care. Our administration wants us to remember our BHAG. Our goal is to increase our SPS to an A. By continually reflecting on our progress, we look at where we’ve been and where we are headed. We can see ourselves getting closer and closer to Canada!
Collins, J. (2018). BHAG–Big Hairy Audacious Goal [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/BHAG.html
Jobs, S. (2005). Stanford commencement speech. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html