Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

If you are reading this blog entry, you are hopefully enjoying the newly designed Coleman’s Classroom. What do you think? Pretty, isn’t it? As you navigate the pages, you might think it was effortless. Wow, would you be wrong! To create this site, I had to learn something new, and we all know hard that can be! Now, I have created websites over the years. There was a site with Frontpage, another with Dreamweaver, yet another on Google Sites… I have learned various blackboard platforms as well as a whole summer learning how to use Canvas. All of that learning should have added up to an easy peasy new web site design, right? Well, not really.

Luckily, one of my former students, Siva Joseph, is a professional and was willing to give me some lessons with this new WordPress platform. (Thanks again Siva! You are amazing!) After the first lesson, I was set! I went home and spent hours and hours (over 30 hours total!) working on the site. I met with Siva again, who graciously told me that now that I knew what I was doing (sort of!), we could begin for real. Then, we pretty much deleted all my work and spent 5 hours rebuilding the site. Ouch! It kinda hurt, you know? All my previous experience and all my work… gone.

Hence, I decided to draw on the strength of Roosevelt’s words.  Moreover, I realize that all the time and effort wasn’t wasted, but was actually the foundation for this new site and the sites I will build in the future. Also, it will help me relate better to my classroom students. In that time though I made many mistakes, I learned a lot. Once Siva had helped me set up the new site, polishing it was so much easier. Decisions came faster. Overall, it was a more pleasant experience and I am quite pleased with the way it came out.

At the end of the day, I am glad for all my previous effort. It refreshed for me the lesson that my writing students go through every semester when they spend hours on a paper, and I gently explain that it is off topic or still needs development. “But I spent so much time,” they cry, “it was such a waste!” Now, I can relate my own similar experience and reassure them that in the end, they will be better off for the experience.


What experience have you had that feels like a waste? It wasn’t.

How might that help you in other ways or in your future? Think about it.