When we think of metamorphosis, the most distinctive case is that of the butterfly as it transforms from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. There is a story that is told of a child who, upon seeing a butterfly trying to escape the chrysalis and wanting to be helpful, cuts a hole so that the butterfly can easily emerge. The reality for that butterfly was that once he emerged, his wings were not properly formed and therefore he lived his life stumbling along, not able to fly.

The butterfly is conditioned to struggle as he works his way to escape the chrysalis. The struggle helps him to build strong wings so that he can reach his full potential and soar to great heights.

Although we can’t always see the reason for our struggle and during our times of struggle we just want the pain, the suffering, the hurt to stop, once we survive the struggle, we find ourselves strong and ready to soar.

If we do not provide our students with challenges, with projects and tasks that will give them cause to re-examine what they are doing and to develop better strategies, then we are condemning them to a life of stumbling along. If we want our students to soar to great heights, we need to allow them to work hard, to transform themselves into life-long learners and then celebrate with them once they conquer those challenges.

As an educator, how have you transformed yourself this past school year? What has changed about how you meet the needs of your students, of yourself as a learner and as a colleague. What challenges have you overcome which have allowed you to soar?