The definition of purpose:
Noun (source: Dictionary.com)
- the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
- an intended or desired result; end; aim goal
What’s the purpose of this? For educators, I’m sure this is a question you get asked every day by your students. I remember being that kid, asking that question, especially in Algebra and Geometry classes! What’s the point of this? Why do I have to learn this? How am I ever going to use this in real life? And I can imagine how tiresome that question could be when you hear it over and over again.
Why is that question so important?
But as I look at my work as the Marketing Director for Knovation, I think about how important that question is every day, in big and small ways. On a small scale, we question what the purpose is for any marketing activity or project we take on. Why are we doing this? What is the desired result we expect this program, campaign, ad, email, conference, meeting, etc. to deliver? When you take a few minutes to contemplate the outcomes you’re after, it can definitely help you in defining what you do and how you do it so that you’re not wasting time, energy or money on things that aren’t going to lead to the desired goal.
On a big scale, we sometimes ask ourselves what is the purpose of the career path we’ve chosen? When I get up every day, am I going to work doing something I believe in, something I love, something I feel has a purpose? I can personally answer that question with a definite YES, which is why I’ve spent the past 11+ years working at Knovation. I believe in the company’s mission to serve teachers and students. I believe that the solutions Knovation offers are making a difference in classrooms around the country. Having the answer to that big “Why am I doing this?” question is motivating and can give you the drive to work hard toward realizing that purpose.
Encourage the questioning!
So the next time your students ask you the, “What’s the purpose of this?” question, I hope you can pause for a minute and be proud that you’ve created a learning environment where kids feel comfortable asking that important question. Teaching them the value of asking “WHY?” is an important skill that can help them to be successful and satisfied in their future work.