Leaping Before You Look

Kids will always leap first. We can stand to learn from them!

Kids will always leap first. We can stand to learn from them!

I have never waited on someone to show me how to do anything. I tend to just jump right in and then troubleshoot along the way. Anytime that I have learned new technology, this is how I did it.

When I first started my personal website and decided to self host my blog, I knew nothing about Wordpress.  I had never started a website and I did not know coding. When I saw that others were using photoshop, it didn’t bother me at all that I was unfamiliar. I took a leap of faith that I could not screw up and I jumped right in. My saving grace was that I knew how to research. I taught myself through youtube and eventually Lynda was my friend.

In school, I’ve always wondered why other teachers didn’t do this. It bothered me to see someone not use a tool because they were waiting to be trained. In this day and time, I’m still very much annoyed by it.  I guess the big question here is how do we get teachers to feel comfortable enough to try?

For example, one of the easiest and least “content driven” acts of learning that we can do is blogging. A lot of teachers have started and many want to but are afraid. One of the main questions that I hear is this…

“How do I start a blog?” Click HERE to find out

I also hear the fears about content, scheduling and consistency. I say, don’t worry about any of those things. Just do it! Start it! Write one post and then figure it out.

You don’t have to have all of the answers to try. They can easily be found.

Think about students. When they are given a task, most of them will start it before even hearing the directions. They may even get halfway through it before they realize that they’ve done it all wrong and without frustration, they start over. When my son opens a new video game, he does not even look at the directions, he just starts playing. If he gets stuck, he searches for answers. We can learn a thing or two from kids. They are not afraid to leap.

Perhaps we as trainers are going about this training thing all wrong. I think about changing the mindset of learning. I want to model my training in the way that I would hope to see learning happening in class. I’ll start with a question and in lieu of providing the answers in the typical training format, we will collaboratively build our knowledge through leaping right in. It sounds easy, yet I know that it is not. I’m not completely nuts and I do realize that I will need to differentiate, however isn’t that something that we all need to do as well?

I just know that we have to change the mindset of waiting on the training to come. I want teachers to feel empowered to try because support is only a search button away if they need it.

We have got to empower our teachers that they too can be 16 year old Jack Andraka who took a leap to google and wikipedia on his journey to find an early detection process for pancreatic cancer.

The lesson here is this…

Teachers must know that not everything requires step by step instructions. Sometimes it’s just about trying and going where the screens take you. We must all be empowered to LEAP!


Comments 1

  1. Wondering out loud and thinking back to the creativity video about getting the right answer that Sir Ken Robinson shared – do you think as adults we are always looking for the right answer? Blogging has another element I think besides the how – it is vulnerability – when you “put yourself out there” i think you invite the world to be part of your life whether or not you want it. I tend to be that jump in with but both feet and figure it out along the way but I respect that others might need to be coached, they might not like the hiddens, want to know the path. That’s ok – one of the best things I learned along my way when working with students and adults is never take control of the mouse – always coach even if it takes them 3x longer. If frustration sets in, ask for permission – as soon as you take control, their ownership is gone.

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