My First Viral Facebook Post


One day I was flipping through my personal Facebook feed and came across the photo above. It really spoke to me so I shared it on my fan Facebook page to see if it spoke to others like it did me . Well, I never realized the impact this photo would make on educators and parents around the globe. I went from 1,000 followers to 4,000 in a short few days just from posting this one photo with an important message. Whomever created the image that went viral- thank you so much for inspiring many of us!

Here is why the image spoke to me:

We live in a society where we have to keep up with the Jones’. It’s all about fitting in instead of standing out for our unique talents. Instant gratification is the name of the game and if something takes longer than one second to acquire or achieve, then its frustrating. As a learner, we feel dumb and inadequate and our peers make sure to point that out. Why?

I spent the summer tutoring my nephew in Wisconsin via Skype. This image reminds me of him. He is an intelligent, multi-talented kid (and I am not just saying that because I am his auntie and he is my first nephew..hehe). His main struggle is that because he catches on so quickly in numerous areas, the one time he doesn’t get something immediately (math) he feels like an utter failure. He withdrawals and his whole personality changes. He is so hard on himself. It absolutely breaks my heart.

It reminds me of this turtle image that is reminding us that we all learn at different rates and that is okay. Just because someone needs to hear something multiple times or in various ways, doesn’t mean they are inadequate or unintelligent. It just comes down to how their brain deciphers and encodes new information. For it to stick in short term memory and venture down the road to long term memory, repeated practice is required. That is normal! We are not computer systems that can crunch numbers in milliseconds- who wants to be that way anyway?

So when I saw this photo in my Facebook feed, I immediately thought of my nephew. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep trying, keep asking questions, keep at it because your effort will pay off and your comprehension will be deeply rooted in your brain for a lifetime- unlike others who may use it and lose it. I want my nephew and other students and children out there to know that…

its not about how fast you learn new skills,

its about how well you learn them.

As a teacher, I want my students to have a thorough understanding of the material instead of just getting right answers. That’s why sometimes I give them the answer and tell them to prove how they know it is or isn’t correct. They are flabbergasted. All they want to do is give me the right answer. They want only ONE answer to be right. They get frustrated that many responses are accurate and that I want to hear about their rationale and their strategies instead of the final answer. In the end, I want to know how they think so I can help them make connections, draw conclusions, make inferences and deepen their understanding of the world around them. It’s not about speed, its about quality of comprehension.

My mantra is: Focus on “getting it” not about “getting it first.” 


Head over to this post on my fan Facebook page and join in on the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comments section. 

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.