“How do we get back there? How do we dig deep and find our genius?”
I think I didn’t lose my genius but I just put it on the back burner.
I learned skills that would pay the bills but I didn’t lose my genius. Sometimes it is important to put it aside.
But I remember when I was young, my oldest sister was the artist and she was so creative. In fact, she was so creative that I was intimidated. My middle sister was able to sew, crochet, and make anything she put her mind to do. I felt that I could not ever make anything as good as she could.
I was expected to be the book worm. I was told over and over again about how smart I was. I was also told that I wasn’t very creative.
It wasn’t until I retired that I started to look for my genius. It was scary at first but the more I tried things, the more excited I became. I started to ask myself “so what?” and that encouraged me to move forward. So what if it didn’t work out the way I hoped? The only thing I lost was time, materials, and maybe some money but no one was hurt so what did it matter? The more I tried, the more often things worked out. Soon my successes outweighed my failures. I continue on a daily basis to expand my horizons and to keep trying. I have found that by continuing to learn, I’m always succeeding. It is a no-lose situation and I never realized that before.
This made me wonder about my students. How many of them have wanted to try things but people’s expectations have thrown obstacles in their way? How many are afraid to take a risk because the adults make them scared to try? Maybe students aren’t afraid because of their failures but maybe because adults tell them they should be afraid.
I need to encourage my students to take risks in their learning because they really have nothing to lose, especially when they can use me as a safety net.
I would like to ask all of them what they would like to learn but were too afraid to try. Then I would help them make a plan to achieve this. Together we would write out what smaller steps are needed to get to the end result. Then we would decide how often we would need to review this list because holding ourselves accountable helps to motivate us. I would also explain that even if they don’t succeed at the final stage, they still have gained something by learning along the way. There is no way they can lose if they want to learn.
At the end, I would ask them to share their learning process which I feel is more important than the actual end result. They can still share the end result if they succeeded but they can also share if they didn’t succeed. They can share how they would do things differently in hopes to have found success. Maybe someone else in the audience might want to try this so they would be learning from someone else’s success or mistakes.