Thursday, July 3, 2014

Embrace the shake

I recently had the opportunity to hear Phil Hansen speak at #iste2014. For the record, he is a phenomenal speaker and is an inspirational breath of fresh air to us all.

Phil goes on to tell a compelling story about his journey in art. As Phil got more and more engrossed in his creations, he soon developed an uncontrollable 'shake' in his hand that limited his ability to do his most used and most comfortable form of art, pointillism. Phil tried to compensate for this 'shake' by tightening his grip. Though with good intentions, the continual tightening only made the shake worse. In time, Phil removed himself from art completely.

After being away from art for a few years, Phil visited a neurologist who informed him that his 'shake' was permanent nerve damage. Phil was devastated with the news. The doctor then followed that statement up with a simple but yet profound comment.

'Why don't you just embrace the shake?'

It was from this point on that Phil went on a renewed art journey using all types of art that wouldn't be limited or impacted by his shake.

Overtime, Phil created some magnificent and beautiful works of art. Though these pieces of art weren't in the form he was most passionate about, he was nonetheless able to create something of immense beauty.

Phil believes that 'embracing a limitation, could actually drive creativity.' He also stated that 'we need to first be limited, in order to become limitless.'

So, what does this mean for educators?

We are rich with limitations and roadblocks in education. We are overwhelmed with variables that are inescapable and beyond our control. We are surrounded with failure and inundated with excuses.

We all have a choice... just as Phil had a choice.

The question is simple... how are we going to respond to our limitations?

Are we going to look at our limitations and our uncontrollable variables as a source for creativity or we will allow them to hold us down?

As we look toward a renewed and refreshed school year, how will we respond when it doesn't go the way we want or expect it to?

Will we embrace the educational 'shake,' or will we allow the educational 'shake' to hold us down?

The choice is yours...

Watch Phil's TEDtalk and get your dose of inspiration and motivation to embrace your very own shake...