Hubs are where many connections converge. Like the spider at the centre of a web, many strands come from that one point.
A connector is just the end of a wire. A simple bit of metal and plastic that plugs into something.
The temptation is to want to be a hub. You can be at the centre. Many different connections come into you. People are focused on you – you cannot be ignored. I feel that sometimes.
But connectors are important too. When I worked in automotive engineering (which admittedly was a few years ago) it was true that the second greatest cause of all break downs in cars were due to connector failure (the first was human error). Connectors don’t look too much, but you really notice them when they don’t work properly.
In my role as a primary school deputy headteacher, it is tempting to want to become a hub. But it would take me away from my core purpose. My core purpose is to connect families and especially children with sources of learning. With teachers, peers, educators across the world. It is to give the power of learning over to the children, not to keep it for myself. My core purpose is to give hope to children, not keep it for myself.
There’s that old adage describing over-management – “too many hubs and not enough connectors.” At least I think it goes something like that.
I could spend my time creating marvellous resources, honing them to perfection, making connections point to me. I could become a hub.
But those resources already exist. There are many storehouses of marvellous resources. Here are just two for teachers that I’ve been looking at in the past half an hour: