I was listening to the #ditchsummit by Matt Miller this week and focused in on the words of Noah Geisel. I’d never heard him speak before and as I listened it became more obvious to me that we need to make sure our students have opportunities to get started.
None of this would’ve happened if I was afraid of being perfect.
Noah encourages us to be audacious in what we are doing as teachers, not to become famous, but to contribute to the betterment of our society. It’s not that we have brand, spanking new ideas, but we can help others around us by expressing our thinking. If we are so hesitant to let others know our thinking then we will always regret not starting.
“DON’T PLAN TOO MUCH, JUST GET STARTED!”
I’m reminded of our design thinking framework that we have been using in class these past few months. Design thinking requires us to get started and to listen to others about a product. We also can just get started with an idea before listening to users, we need to listen to our own thoughts too. We can’t be afraid of the outcomes and if we are then we are inhibiting any type of growth that could possibly come from our teaching.
Students have had the opportunities to design wallets and bags for their partners through the design school at Stanford. We’ve had the chance to create Christmas cards for others through paper circuit creations. Our class has even built fairy tale video games using Bloxels for kindergarten and first grade students. None of this would’ve happened if I was afraid of being perfect, not a chance. I had the idea and wanted to get started so I did. Could I have planned more? You bet! Have I reflected on what happened and what I would do differently? Yep. These design projects all have revolved around a curriculum map that our district follows. All of this has made me a better teacher, but also a better person since I have pushed myself to not be afraid of what others might think.
Innovation doesn’t come from waiting around for the perfect idea. Innovation occurs because of the chances that are open to you and only when you get started can it truly occur. I’ve never heard of something happening by sitting back and waiting for someone to do it for me. So what better way then to start the new year of 2017 off with the ability to get started? I know exactly what we will be doing to start the new year. Students will begin to look at simple machines and how they can impact others around them. We will be interviewing some older folks from a local retirement center and hearing about some issues that we might be able to help make better. We need to get started simply because it’s the right thing to do.
The quote from Noah rings true in my ears, “Be audacious, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with others!”
Start the new year off right with the chance for your students, and you, to get started, not just ready.
What is something you are going to get started with this new year?